Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation

Meet the Ambassador

United States Ambassador to Samoa and New Zealand, David Huebner.

United States Ambassador to Samoa and New Zealand, David Huebner.

Ambassador Huebner departed Post on January 17, 2014.

On Wednesday, December 9th, Ambassador David Huebner presented his Letter of Credence to New Zealand's Governor General, the Right Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand.

Your Excellency, I have the great honor to present to you the Letter of Credence, which the President of the United States Barack Obama has addressed to your Excellency, accrediting me as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to New Zealand.  I also have the honor to present the Letter of Recall of my predecessor.  I can imagine no higher privilege than to serve my country as its Ambassador.
I am particularly honored to serve in New Zealand -- a nation of great natural beauty, generosity of spirit, and strength of character -- at this time when our ties are stronger than they have been in decades, and when the partnership between our two great democracies continues to broaden and deepen.

As President Obama noted recently about the Pacific, the U.S. and New Zealand are not separated by that "Great Ocean";  they are connected by it.  Our two countries share a common set of core values and a similar vision for a more secure, prosperous, open, and sustainable global community.  As Ambassador, I will actively cooperate with New Zealand on moving that vision forward.

Building on the work of those who have gone before us, I am committed to furthering and expanding our joint efforts on scientific research.  I look forward to strengthening our five decades of cooperation in the Antarctic where our scientific activities continue in the pioneering spirit of our societies’ great explorers such as Sir Edmund Hillary and Neil Armstrong.  I also very much welcome the opportunity to work together on an array of existing and potential environmental projects, including our bilateral climate change initiative that is now six years old and the more recent renewable energy projects developed through the Energy Development in Island Nations ( EDIN) program. 

The Trans Pacific Partnership is another opportunity for us to work together.  The United States is New Zealand’s second-largest trading partner and second largest source of investment, and our countries share a  common vision for socially-sound free and fair trade.  I promise to promote even stronger economic ties and to look for opportunities to increase trade and investment.

When the Marines left here at the end of World War II, they left a plaque that read “If ever you need a friend, you have one.”  There was no expiration date on that promise.  That friendship continues today as we jointly support the people of Afghanistan.  The professionalism of the New Zealand Defense Force is legendary, and we are privileged to serve alongside them.

Also legendary is the generosity of the people of New Zealand.  Our countries share a commitment to helping those in need, and our cooperation has been critical to responding to the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in the Pacific. Together, we can better help our Pacific neighbors as they respond to crises.

As Ambassador, I will do all I can to strengthen our already close relationship, and to find additional ways to collaborate in making a positive difference together in our world.

Ambassador David Huebner

U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa

On October 8, 2009, President Obama nominated David Huebner as the next U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa.  Ambassador Huebner was sworn in on December 4, 2009 and presented his credentials to the New Zealand Governor-General the Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand on December 9, 2009, and to His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi of the Independent State of Samoa on February 23, 2010. 

Before being posted to New Zealand and Samoa, Ambassador Huebner was a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, where he headed the law firm's China Practice and International Disputes Practice.  Based in Shanghai, he specialized in international arbitration and mediation and handled a wide range of matters across the Pacific Rim region.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a solicitor in England & Wales, and an attorney (now on inactive status) licensed in several U.S. jurisdictions. 

Previously, the Ambassador was chairman of the international law firm Coudert Brothers LLP and an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law, where he taught courses in international business transactions, international arbitration, and international intellectual property.  He has guest lectured on the same topics at several other schools in the United States and China. 

Ambassador Huebner has long been active in civic, non-profit, and educational activities.  While at Coudert, he founded a program to support children’s education and welfare charities through the Firm’s offices around the world.  He has chaired the California Law Revision Commission, has served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission, and was a founding board member and general counsel of the national Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).  He has been an arbitrator for many years at the Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moots in Vienna and Hong Kong. 

A native of Pennsylvania and long-time resident of California, Ambassador Huebner is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  He is also a graduate of the Yale Law School.  While on leave of absence from Yale as a Henry Luce Scholar, he served in Tokyo as special assistant to the Hon. Kakizawa Koji, member of the lower house of Japan’s Diet. 

Ambassador Huebner’s spouse of more than 20 years is Duane E. McWaine, MD, also a graduate of Princeton University.  Dr. McWaine’s specialty is psychiatry, and he has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical School and served as medical director of the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center while maintaining a private practice. 

The Ambassador is an avid fan of rugby and U.S. college football.  He enjoys hiking, kayaking, volleyball, wine, cinema, books and travel.