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Gutmann is the longest-serving president in University history.

Credit: Varun Sudunagunta

Penn President Amy Gutmann will be nominated to become the next United States ambassador to Germany, according to Der Spiegel, a German newspaper.

Washington Bureau Chief for Der Spiegel René Pfister reported the news Tuesday afternoon on Twitter in German. Gutmann’s reported departure comes shortly after Provost Wendell Pritchett, a top Penn official, announced he would be taking a medical leave of absence through the end of 2021.

University spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. news correspondent of t-online Fabian Reinbold, a former Der Spiegel reporter, responded on Twitter at 4:50 p.m. with an English translation that Gutmann has been nominated to assume the U.S. ambassadorship to Germany. He added that Gutmann's father was a Holocaust refugee.

Gutmann's father fled Germany in 1934 at the outset of the Holocaust and settled in the United States. His legacy has had a profound impact on his daughter, Gutmann told The Daily Pennsylvanian in 2013.

"Amy Gutmann, Univ of Pennsylvania President with long ties to Biden, is set to become the next US Ambassador to Germany, according to Der Spiegel," Reinbold wrote. 

Penn boasts significant ties to President Joe Biden, sparking early speculation that Gutmann could be tapped for a post in the Biden administration. Biden accepted an honorary professor position in 2017, referred to as a “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor.” He also established the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C.

Berlin has been without a U.S. ambassador for a year, after former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grennell resigned from his position in June 2020 after two years of service. Deputy Chief of Mission Robin Quinville has acted as the charge d’affaires - fulfilling the role of the ambassador - ever since.

Gutmann is eighth president and the the longest-serving president in University history, serving since 2004. In 2016, the Board of Trustees announced that her contract was extended to 2022.

David Cohen, the former chair of the Board of Trustees, is also set to leave Penn. Cohen is expected to be named as the U.S. ambassador to Canada. Scott Bok, the chairman and CEO of independent investment bank Greenhill & Co., Inc., will take over on July 1, 2021.

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