In his first interview this year, Ambassador Evans talks to Lisa Burke at length on a range of topics, from space to this weekend's Memorial Day, how to understand Trump's psyche, thoughts on Climate Change, the right to carry firearms and healthcare in the US.
Ambassador Evans hasn't seen his wife Linda since February. It's the longest they have been apart in marriage. And whilst COVID-19 continues to spread its net across the world, curtailing travel, work carries on at the American Embassy in Luxembourg as before.
"I knew the Importance of Luxembourg"
Like Linda, and their son, Randy Evans was an attorney - a very successful one - rising to become General Counsel to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. But when the opportunity arose for diplomatic work, Evans chose Luxembourg as his first choice and the couple have lived here since June 2018.
”I knew the importance of Luxembourg: in the EU; in the world financial markets; in terms of being an honest broker between the superpowers, Russia, China and the U.S. The skill sets I had well suited what the country is good at: space, financial transactions, and being a participant on the geo-political landscape.”
In his time here, Ambassador Evans has worked hard to nurture commonalities between the two nations, disparate in size.
Space is clearly one of the fields which excites Randy the most. Evans would have been 29 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. With ebullience, he recalls the joy of having Buzz Aldrin in Luxembourg to celebrate American Independence Day and the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing last year. And one day, he hopes to be interviewed on the moon!
This Saturday, Ambassador Evans will lead Memorial Day at the Luxembourg American Cemetery. This is a US Federal Holiday to commemorate all those who died whilst in military services.
Due to restrictions on crowds, the Embassy will livestream the event on their website and on Facebook, to which all are invited. There will be a special guest too: Cecile Jimenez, the medical provider charged with the health and safety of the US Embassies here in Luxembourg and in Brussels. Her presence will mirror the service given by one nurse buried in the cemetary: 2nd Lieutenant Nancy Leo. Both serving 'on the frontline' in different battles, if one views COVID-19 in that light.
"Trump will do the most unusual, most unpredictable things"
Our conversation went on to talk about the idiosyncrasies of President Trump.
"Anyone who tries to understand President Trump as a typical politician is going to be completely confused. He’s not. He is results oriented. Always focussed not on the how, not on repeating, but getting the problem solved."
Ambassador Evans has been a lifelong Republican Activist. In light of this, we went on to talk about his thoughts on climate change and the right to carry firearms.
"Everything in our government is designed to be very inefficient because we don’t want any one person to accumulate too much governmental power. An armed citizen can protect itself from a government which has decided to go too far."
Ambassador J. Randolph Evans is the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the 23rd United States Ambassador to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
He had two Weimaraners called Reagan and Thatcher.