Portman Introduces Cleveland Native Ed Crawford at Nomination Hearing to be U.S. Ambassador to Ireland
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced Ed Crawford at his Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearing to serve as the United States Ambassador to Ireland. Crawford is a Cleveland, Ohio native and Portman is confident that he will serve with integrity and distinction as Ambassador to Ireland.
A transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found
“Thank you, Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member Shaheen, and Senator Menendez for holding the hearing today.
“As you say, we have some vitally important roles to be filled and one is Ireland. Along with my colleague, Senator Brown, it is my honor to introduce Ed Crawford as the nominee to serve as the Ambassador to Ireland.
“I’m happy to see that Mary is with us today too, his wife, his son, and daughter-in-law and grandchildren. I know Ed from his business work and civic participation and from many years of interacting with him. But when I really got to know him well was in 2014 when I was asked to introduce him at a Mayo Society event. Every year they choose a person of the year and it’s always somebody from the County Mayo and in this case, they made a slight exception because of Ed Crawford’s incredible commitment to Ireland. That was special. And at that event, which was well attended by the Irish-American community in Cleveland, I had the honor of co-introducing Ed Crawford, along with a young man named Collin, who is his grandson and who is with us today. He was about three feet shorter then but he was the same Collin and so I’m glad that Collin Crawford is with us today too.
“Mr. Chairman, you look at Ed’s biography, he has been president, CEO or director of so many successful companies and philanthropic organizations. He has worked tirelessly to improve his community—not just by building his businesses from the ground up, but also being very involved in the community and providing great jobs for the people of Cleveland.
“He is very proud of his Irish-American heritage, as you might imagine, having gotten the Mayo Society award. It was said that in 2016 that there were about 32 million Americans who claimed Irish heritage. I think half of them are in Cleveland, Ohio and I think Ed knows most of them.
“He is active in Irish-American civic groups and was the driving force behind the Irish Garden Club of Cleveland, which is dedicated to preserving the magnificent Irish Cultural garden, which some of you may have seen when you have visited Cleveland. Ed was a founding member and served as its president. These affiliations represents just a small portion of his charitable works. He’s been so involved in the betterment of Cleveland and the people of Ohio, and has the track record to prove it.
“He is highly qualified and I am confident that he is the right person to serve as our Ambassador to Ireland. Maybe even more importantly, the Irish want him and they’re eager to get him there. In addition to his deep love of the country, he has a keen business background that I think will be helpful in maintaining and deepening our economic relationships with Ireland in what could be some challenging times ahead.
“Brexit or no Brexit it’s going to be challenging but if there is Brexit, Ireland will play a bigger and bigger role for the United States in so many respects, including in our economic relationship with Europe. It has a dynamic, diverse economy already. We are its number one source of Foreign Direct Investment, the United States of America. We’re second in terms of our export goods. So Ireland and the United States have so many close, economic ties and as we navigate the challenges associated with the future, I’m glad that someone of his acumen and relationship with the president has the opportunity to be in that ambassador role, should he be confirmed.
“There is a great deal to be said about the role of personal relationships in international diplomacy. I’ve certainly seen that in my experience and I would say that Ed Crawford also has the natural Irish gift of gab. He gets along with people, having likely kissed the Blarney Stone a time or two in his travels. He will be instantly respected by the Irish both for his background and intellect, but also for his deep love of the country, and embracing the Irish as he does.
“I urge my colleagues to support his nomination both here in the committee and on the Senate floor, and I am pleased that he is willing to step up and serve his country.”