Terry Branstad is the former U.S. Ambassador to China (2017-2020), and the longest serving governor in the history of the United States (1983-1999/2011-2017). In addition to his role as president of Des Moines University Medical School, his public service includes election to the office of Lt. Governor and three-terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.
He is a founding partner of the Branstad Churchill Group, a strategic consulting firm that provides advice, guidance and solutions to organizations, corporate leaders and investors seeking to navigate the complexities associated with conducting business in China and the United States.
During his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to China, Branstad’s two greatest accomplishments included the signing of the historic Phase-One Trade Agreement in January of 2020 and successfully lobbying the Chinese government to stem the flow of fentanyl into the United States.
Phase-One secured $200 billion in Chinese commitments to purchase U.S. goods and services, achieved stricter enforcement of Intellectual Property protections, and opened China’s restrictive financial sector to U.S. banks and other financial services companies. And the Chinese government’s decision to schedule fentanyl as a controlled substance in May of 2019 virtually stopped fentanyl shipments from China directly to the United States.
His time in Beijing was marked by the advent of the outbreak of Covid-19 that led to a mass evacuation of U.S. citizens from Wuhan and the sudden closure of the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu by the Chinese government. To ensure the safety of the foreign service officers serving in China, he oversaw the largest drawdown of staff in American history; and to protect the health of U.S. citizens at home, he launched a Task Force that delivered 5,000 tons of urgently needed medical supplies to combat Covid-19.
Last year, Branstad was named “Ambassador-In-Residence” at Drake University in Des Moines, where he received his Juris Doctorate. He continues his public service as the national co-chair of the capital campaign to modernize the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa.