REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: United Arab Emirates
CANDIDATE: John Rakolta Jr.
John Rakolta Jr. is a dynamic business executive and civic leader who has served as the Chairman and CEO of Walbridge Aldinger Company, in Detroit Michigan since 1993. Since joining the company in 1971, he has grown it into a one of premier industrial construction companies in the world with over $1.5 billion in annual revenues with principle offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America. Mr. Rakolta has an equally distinguished record of civic engagement and has helped lead transformational change in the Detroit Public School system. He has had considerable international business engagement as well as substantive experience in the world of diplomacy, having served as an Honorary Consul for Romania since 1998. Mr. Rakolta’s vast experience in the leadership and management of a complex business enterprise with thousands of employees, his international engagement and his outstanding contributions to his community and state, all combine to make him well-qualified to serve as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Rakolta currently is Co-Chair of both the Coalition for the Future of Detroit School Children and of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition. His other civic and business roles include as trustee (and past Chairperson), of New Detroit Inc., as a campaign Cabinet Member for United Way of Southeast Michigan, Executive Committee Member of the Detroit Regional Chamber and Director of the Detroit Economic Club. Mr. Rakolta also is a member of the Executive Committee of Business Leaders for Michigan, and a member of the Executive Leaders Advocacy Group of the University of Michigan – Dearborn.
Mr. Rakolta earned his B.S Civil Engineering from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1970). He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution, 2005.