Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs

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Assistant Secretary of State
for Near Eastern Affairs
Anne W Patterson ambassador 2011.jpg
Incumbent
Anne W. Patterson

since 2013
U.S. Department of State
Inaugural holder George C. McGhee
Formation 1949
Website Official Website

The Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs is the head of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs within the American Department of State. The Assistant Secretary guides operation of the U.S. diplomatic establishment in various countries of North Africa and the Middle East and advises the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.[1] Former Assistant Secretary, C. David Welch, who was sworn in on March 18, 2005, resigned his appointment on December 18, 2008.[2][3]

The Department of State established the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs on October 3, 1949. The Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, popularly known as the Hoover Commission, had recommended that certain offices be upgraded to bureau level and after Congress increased the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from six to ten. The Department of State established a Division of Near Eastern Affairs in 1909, which dealt with Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe as well as with the Middle East. The final remnant of this practice ended on April 18, 1974, when the Department transferred responsibility for Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus to the Bureau of European Affairs.[4]

The Division of Near Eastern Affairs included Egypt and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) from its inception, and acquired responsibility for the rest of Africa (except Algeria and the Union of South Africa) in 1937. Relations with African nations became the responsibility of a new Bureau of African Affairs on August 20, 1958, but relations with North African nations reverted to the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs on April 22, 1974. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 authorized the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs on October 28, 1991. The Bureau of South Asian Affairs was established August 24, 1992, with the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs arriving at its present title.[4]

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs, 1949-1958[edit]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
George C. McGhee June 28, 1949 December 19, 1951 Harry S. Truman
Henry A. Byroade April 14, 1952 January 25, 1955 Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower
George V. Allen January 26, 1955 August 27, 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower
William M. Rountree August 30, 1956 July 6, 1959 Dwight D. Eisenhower

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, 1958—1992[edit]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
G. Lewis Jones July 10, 1959 April 20, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Phillips Talbot April 21, 1961 September 1, 1965 John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
Raymond A. Hare September 22, 1965 November 30, 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson
Lucius D. Battle April 5, 1967 September 30, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson
Parker T. Hart October 14, 1968 February 4, 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Joseph J. Sisco February 10, 1969 February 18, 1974 Richard Nixon
Alfred Atherton April 27, 1974 April 13, 1978 Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter
Harold H. Saunders April 11, 1978 January 16, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Nicholas A. Veliotes May 21, 1981 October 27, 1983 Ronald Reagan
Richard W. Murphy October 28, 1983 May 15, 1989 Ronald Reagan
John Hubert Kelly June 16, 1989 September 30, 1991 George H. W. Bush
Edward Djerejian September 30, 1991 December 17, 1993 George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern Affairs, 1992—Present[edit]

On August 24, 1992 the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs divided into a separate Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and a Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. At that time, Edward Djerejian became Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs; he was also concurrently Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs until May 30, 1993.

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
Edward Djerejian September 30, 1991 December 17, 1993 George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton
Robert Pelletreau February 18, 1994 January 24, 1997 Bill Clinton
Martin Indyk October 14, 1997 November 16, 1999 Bill Clinton
Edward S. Walker, Jr. January 18, 2000 Bill Clinton
William Joseph Burns June 4, 2001 March 2, 2005 George W. Bush
David Welch March 18, 2005 December 18, 2008 George W. Bush
Jeffrey D. Feltman August 18, 2009 June 2012 Barack Obama
Anne W. Patterson December 23, 2013 present Barack Obama

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs". Archived from the original on 19 September 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Welch, C. David". Archived from the original on September 11, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Farewell Ceremony for Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Welch". Archived from the original on 24 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-31. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern Affairs". Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007.