United States Ambassador to Benin

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Ambassador of the United States to Benin
Ambassadeur des Etats-Unis au Bénin
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
John Knight (Ambassador).jpeg
Incumbent
James Knight

since August 7, 2009
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder R. Borden Reams
as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Formation October 14, 1960
Website U.S. Embassy - Cotonou

The Kingdom of Dahomey was an overseas possession of France—part of French West Africa—until 1958. In that year Dahomey became an autonomous republic, and gained full independence in 1960. The United States immediately recognized Dahomey and began the process of initiating diplomatic relations. A U.S. Embassy at Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (then named Ivory Coast) was established with Donald L. Norland as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim. The embassy was also accredited also to Dahomey, Niger, and Upper Volta (now named Burkina Faso) while resident at Abidjan. On July 31, 1960, Chargé Norland presented his credentials to the government of Dahomey, to take effect on August 1, 1960. On October 14, 1960, R. Borden Reams was appointed as the ambassador and presented his credentials on November 26, 1960.

On February 15, 1961, the Embassy in Cotonou, Dahomey was established with Converse Hettinger as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim. Ambassador Reams remained resident in Abidjan.

In 1961 Robinson McIlvaine was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary with a separate commission solely to Dahomey. He presented his credentials to the government of Dahomey on June 22, 1961.

The Republic of Dahomey changed its name to Republic of Benin in 1975.

In June 2009, President Barack Obama nominated James Knight to succeed Brown as U.S. Ambassador to Benin.

Ambassadors[edit]

U.S. diplomatic terms


Career FSO
After 1915, The United States Department of State began classifying ambassadors as career Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) for those who have served in the Foreign Service for a specified amount of time.

Political appointee
A person who is not a career foreign service officer, but is appointed by the president (often as a reward to political friends).

Appointed
The date that the ambassador took the oath of office; also known as “commissioning”. It follows confirmation of a presidential appointment by the Senate, or a Congressional-recess appointment by the president. In the case of a recess appointment, the ambassador requires subsequent confirmation by the Senate.

Presented credentials
The date that the ambassador presented his letter of credence to the head of state or appropriate authority of the receiving nation. At this time the ambassador officially becomes the representative of his country. This would normally occur a short time after the ambassador’s arrival on station. The host nation may reject the ambassador by not receiving the ambassador’s letter, but this occurs only rarely.

Terminated mission
Usually the date that the ambassador left the country. In some cases a letter of recall is presented, ending the ambassador’s commission, either as a means of diplomatic protest or because the diplomat is being reassigned elsewhere and replaced by another envoy.

Chargé d'affaires
The person in charge of the business of the embassy when there is no ambassador commissioned to the host country. See chargé d'affaires.

Ad interim
Latin phrase meaning "for the time being", "in the meantime". See ad interim.
  • R. Borden Reams[1][2][3] – Career FSO
  • Robinson McIlvaine – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 22, 1961
    • Presented credentials: July 31, 1961
    • Terminated mission: Left post, March 19, 1964
  • Clinton E. Knox – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 9, 1964
    • Presented credentials: August 18, 1964
    • Terminated mission: Left post, June 11, 1969
  • Matthew L. Looram, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 27, 1969
    • Presented credentials: July 21, 1969
    • Terminated mission: Left post, December 3, 1971
  • Robert Anderson[4] – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 15, 1972
    • Presented credentials: March 25, 1972
    • Terminated mission: Left post, April 11, 1974
  • James B. Engle – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 23, 1974
    • Presented credentials: November 26, 1974
    • Terminated mission: Left post, February 15, 1976
  • Note: There was no ambassador present between 1976 and 1983. The embassy was represented by a series of chargés d’affaires ad interim:
    • W. Kenneth Thompson (August 1976–August 1978)
    • John S. Davidson (September 1978–May 1980)
    • James R. Bullington (June 1980–July 1982)
    • Charles H. Twining, Jr. (July 1982–October 1983)
  • George E. Moose – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 7, 1983
    • Presented credentials: November 4, 1983
    • Terminated mission: Left post, July 7, 1986
  • Walter Edward Stadtler – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 16, 1986
    • Presented credentials: November 19, 1986
    • Terminated mission: Left post, December 3, 1989
  • Harriet Winsar Isom – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 21, 1989
    • Presented credentials: January 26, 1990
    • Terminated mission: Left post, November 14, 1992
  • Ruth A. Davis – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 17, 1992
    • Presented credentials: December 24, 1992
    • Terminated mission: Left post, November 3, 1995
  • John M. Yates – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 3, 1995
    • Presented credentials: November 24, 1995
    • Terminated mission: Left post October 27, 1998
  • Robert C. Felder – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 22, 1998
    • Presented credentials: November 20, 1998
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 10, 2000
  • Pamela E. Bridgewater – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 15, 2000
    • Presented credentials: November 24, 2000
    • Terminated mission: Left post December 10, 2002
  • Wayne E. Neill – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 16, 2003
    • Presented credentials: July 4, 2003
    • Terminated mission:
  • Gayleatha B. Brown – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 25, 2006
    • Presented credentials: Unknown
    • Terminated mission:
  • James Knight – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 7, 2009 [1]
    • Presented credentials: November 3, 2009
    • Terminated mission: Incumbent

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Reams was accredited to Ivory Coast, Niger, Upper Volta, and Dahomey—resident at Abidjan
  2. ^ Superseded by a separate commission to Dahomey July 31, 1961.
  3. ^ Reams was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on February 6, 1961.
  4. ^ An earlier nomination of December 2, 1971, was not acted upon by the Senate.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]