Johnny Young (diplomat)

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Johnny Young
Johnny Young, US Ambassador to Slovenia 2002.jpg
11th United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone
In office
November 29, 1989 – July 23, 1992
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Cynthia Shepard Perry
Succeeded by Lauralee M. Peters[1]
14th United States Ambassador to Togo
In office
October 7, 1994 – November 21, 1997
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Harmon Elwood Kirby
Succeeded by Brenda Schoonover
12th United States Ambassador to Bahrain
In office
December 11, 1997 – September 29, 2001
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by David M. Ransom
Succeeded by Ronald E. Neumann
4th United States Ambassador to Slovenia
In office
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Nancy Halliday Ely-Raphel
Succeeded by Thomas Bolling Robertson
Personal details
Born (1940-06-02) June 2, 1940 (age 74)
Savannah, Georgia
Spouse(s) Angelena Young
Profession Diplomat

Johnny Young was born on February 6, 1940 in Savannah, Georgia and grew up in Philadelphia. He graduated from Temple University with a bachelor's degree in 1966 and later went into the American Academy of Diplomacy before joining the U.S. State Department. He received a position as Budget and Fiscal Officer in Antananarivo, Madagascar followed by assignments in 1970 and 1972 as s supervisory General Services Officer in Conakry, Guinea and Nairobi, Kenya. In 1974, he was transferred to Doha, Qatar to provide administrative support to the newly expanded American embassy and the first American ambassador to Qatar.[citation needed] While in Qatar, Young served as Administrative Officer and Charge d' Affaires. After Qatar, he was assigned as the Administrative Counselor for Bridgetown, Barbados.


In 1979, Young returned to Washington, DC as Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Personnel. This was followed by a position as Executive Director for the Office of the Inspector General in 1981. Young then left in 1983 to be Administrative Counselor in Amman, Jordan; and in 1985 served at The Hague, Netherlands. In 1988, he was selected for assignment to the Senior Seminar.[2]

He then served as Ambassador to Sierra Leone from 1989 to 1992, Togo, 1994 to 1997, Bahrain, 1997 2001, and Slovenia, 2001-2004. During his time as ambssador to Slovenia he made two major goals, to continue the cooperation that the US and Slovenia have in a wide range of international fora and over a wide range of issues, and to work with Slovenia in making it the best candidate possible for entry into NATO and the European Union.[3]

Ambassador Young has received two cash awards for performance, the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, and two Group Honor Awards. He was also involved with Operation "Sharp Edge," which was responsible for U.S. support and evacuation efforts during the First Liberian Civil War. In addition, he received a Superior Group Award for serving as part of the Sierra Leone mission for their assistance in evacuating U.S. citizens following the coup in Freetown in April 1992. He is married to Angelena Young and has 2 children.[4]

He currently resides with his wife Angelena in Kensington, Maryland. In August 2007, he was named executive director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS).


Before joining the Foreign Service, Young graduated from Temple University with a bachelor's degree in 1966. Young was also recipient of the Obermayer Award presented annually to an outstanding graduate of the Philadelphia School Board in 1990. He also was enrolled in the Institute of State and Local Government at the University of Pennsylvania.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).

Further reading[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Cynthia Shepard Perry
United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone
Succeeded by
Lauralee M. Peters
Preceded by
Harmon Elwood Kirby
United States Ambassador to Togo
Succeeded by
Brenda Schoonover
Preceded by
David M. Ransom
United States Ambassador to Bahrain
Succeeded by
Ronald E. Neumann
Preceded by
Nancy Halliday Ely-Raphel
United States Ambassador to Slovenia
Succeeded by
Thomas Bolling Robertson