James "Wally" Brewster, Jr. (born c. 1960), is the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate of the United States on November 14, 2013, and was sworn in by Vice-President Joe Biden at the White House on November 22, shortly before Brewster left Washington to take up his post in Santo Domingo. In the evening of that same day, Brewster married his long-term partner of 25 years, luxury real estate executive Bob J. Satawake; the ceremony and reception were held at the Hay-Adams Hotel, near the White House. Brewster and Satawake made history as the first openly gay couple to represent the United States at the ambassadorial level in the Americas.
A native of Lindale, Texas, Brewster earned an A.A. in Marketing at Tyler Junior College in Texas in 1980 and completed his education in Business Administration at Texas A&M University in 1983. His career began with marketing and management positions in the Dallas area. In 1996, he moved to Chicago to work for a real estate investment trust, General Growth Properties, where he eventually moved up to become senior vice president for marketing and communications. In 2010, Brewster started his own company, SB&K Global, also based in Chicago.
In addition to his business career, Brewster served as the National Co-Chair of the LGBT Leadership Council for the Democratic National Committee and held the same role in the Obama 2012 campaign. It was reported that as a fundraiser for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, Brewster and Satawake raised over $1,000,000 in donations. Brewster was also involved with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for more than 30 years and served on their National Board of Directors.
The nomination of an openly gay U. S. ambassador aroused controversy in the Dominican Republic, where during a press conference, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, Archbishop of Santo Domingo, referred to Brewster as a maricon, equivalent to "faggot" in American English. An auxiliary Bishop of Santo Domingo, Monsenor Pablo Cedano, issued a statement: "I hope he does not arrive in the country because I know if he comes he is going to suffer and will have to leave." As of 2015, the Cardinal has since engaged in prophetic diaolog with the press, calling His Excellency Ambassador Brewster a "wife" that "should tend to his husband instead of meddling in Dominican anti-corruption issues" Evangelical Christian leaders also denounced the appointment. U.S. Embassy spokesman Daniel Foote told reporters that Brewster was nominated "because of his skills as an international businessman and his ideas on democracy and human rights," adding, "Brewster arrives as an ambassador, he's not coming here as an activist for the gay community."
Upon arriving in the Dominican Republic, Brewster posted a video introducing himself and his husband on the embassy's web page.