James Knight (diplomat)
|United States Ambassador to Benin|
30 September 2009 – 2013
|Preceded by||Gayleatha B. Brown|
|Succeeded by||Michael Raynor|
|Spouse(s)||Amelia Rector Bell|
|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Occupation||Ambassador, economic development specialist, software developer, infantry officer|
|Awards||Bronze Star Medal|
Knight is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He was formerly the State Department's Director of the Office of East African Affairs after serving as Team Leader of the Ninewa Provincial Reconstruction Team (see the Ninawa campaign), based in Mosul, Iraq. Before Iraq, he was Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the U.S. Mission to Angola as well as the DCM for Embassy Praia in Cape Verde.
Earlier experience includes assignments to the embassies in Ethiopia; Antananarivo, Madagascar; Banjul, the Gambia; and Lagos, Nigeria. Before the Foreign Service Knight worked as an economic development specialist for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Niger and as a software developer for the private sector.
Knight holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service as an infantry officer in the Vietnam War. He is married to the former Amelia Rector Bell, a crisis management specialist at the Foreign Service Institute, and they have four children.