United States Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea

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Ambassador of the United States to Equatorial Guinea
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Ambassador Mark Asquino.jpg
Incumbent
Mark L. Asquino

since January 27, 2010
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder Albert W. Sherer, Jr.
as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Formation September 13, 1967
Website U.S. Embassy - Malabo

The United States has maintained diplomatic ties to Equatorial Guinea since independence in 1968. Until 1981, US ambassadors served as the contacts to other African countries simultaneously rather than have a separate person just for Equatorial Guinea.

History[edit]

In the 19th century, the area of Central Africa that now contains the nation of Equatorial Guinea was under Spanish control. The area was known as Spanish Guinea and included the small mainland area of Río Muni and the island of Fernão do Pó (or Fernando Pó), now named Bioko. Rio Muni became a Spanish protectorate in 1885 and a colony in 1900. In 1926 the island of Bioko and the mainland area of Río Muni were united as the colony of Spanish Guinea.

In 1959, the Spanish territory of the Gulf of Guinea was established as a province of Spain known as the Spanish Equatorial Region. Local elections were held and representatives elected to the Cortes Generales (Spanish parliament).

In 1963 limited autonomy was granted to Spanish Guinea and the people were able to elect members to its own legislature.

In March 1968, under pressure from Equatorial Guinean nationalists and the United Nations, Spain announced that it would grant independence to Equatorial Guinea. A constitutional convention produced an electoral law and draft constitution. In the presence of a UN observer team, a referendum was held on August 11, 1968, and a new constitution was approved. In September 1968, the first president was elected, and independence was granted in October.

The United States immediately recognized Equatorial Guinea and moved to establish diplomatic relations. Albert W. Sherer, Jr., the ambassador to Togo, was additionally accredited as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Equatorial Guinea on October 28, 1968 and presented his credentials to the president on November 21. Sherer remained resident at Lomé, Togo.

An embassy in Santa Isabel (now Malabo) was opened August 1, 1969, with Albert N. Williams as chargé d'affaires ad interim.

In December 1969 the ambassador to Cameroon was accredited to Equatorial Guinea while resident in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The embassy in Malabo was closed in 1995 and its functions were transferred to the embassy in Cameroon. The embassy was reopened in 2004.

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.
  • Albert W. Sherer, Jr. – Career FSO[1][2][3]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 13, 1967
    • Presented credentials: October 13, 1967
    • Terminated mission: Left post March 5, 1970
  • Note: Beginning in 1969 one ambassador, resident in Yaoundé, was accredited to Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.
  • Lewis Hoffacker – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 2, 1969
    • Presented credentials: January 21, 1970
    • Terminated mission: Left Yaoundé June 6, 1972
  • C. Robert Moore – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 25, 1972
    • Presented credentials: January 9, 1973
    • Terminated mission: Left Yaoundé July 28, 1975
  • Herbert J. Spiro – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 24, 1975
    • Presented credentials: September 1, 1975
    • Terminated mission: Declared persona non grata by government of Equatorial Guinea March 14, 1976.
  • Note: After the ambassador was rejected by the government of Equatorial Guinea, the post was vacant until 1979.
  • Mable Murphy Smythe – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 17, 1979
    • Presented credentials: December 19, 1979
    • Terminated mission: Left Yaoundé February 24, 1980
  • Hume A. Horan – Career FSO[4][5]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 30, 1980
    • Presented credentials: August 14, 1980
    • Terminated mission: Resigned as Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea September 29, 1981
  • Note: In 1981 the first ambassador was appointed solely accredited to Equatorial Guinea.
  • Alan M. Hardy – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 26, 1981
    • Presented credentials: November 19, 1981
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 26, 1984
  • Francis Stephen Ruddy – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 5, 1984
    • Presented credentials: January 27, 1985
    • Terminated mission: Left post March 25, 1988
  • Chester E. Norris, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 5, 1988
    • Presented credentials: March 15, 1988
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 18, 1991
  • John E. Bennett – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 2, 1991
    • Presented credentials: September 5, 1991
    • Terminated mission: Left post February 25, 1994
  • Note: Embassy Malabo was closed October 31, 1995. Its functions were transferred to the Embassy in Yaoundé November 1, 1995. The ambassador to Cameroon was also accredited to Equatorial Guinea while resident in Yaoundé.
  • Charles H. Twining – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 19, 1995
    • Presented credentials: May 16, 1996
    • Terminated mission: Left Yaoundé August 17, 1998
  • John Melvin Yates – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 22, 1998
    • Presented credentials: February 4, 1998
    • Terminated mission: Left Yaoundé November 4, 2001
  • George McDade Staples – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 5, 2001
    • Presented credentials: January 24, 2002
    • Terminated mission: Left Yaoundé, July 10, 2004
  • Note: The embassy in Malabo was reopened in 2004 with the ambassador solely accredited to Equatorial Guinea.
  • R. Niels Marquardt – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 2, 2004
    • Presented credentials: September 2, 2004
    • Terminated mission: Left post September 2006
  • Donald C. Johnson – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 16, 2006
    • Presented credentials: Unknown
    • Terminated mission: July 2008
  • Alberto M. Fernandez – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: January 27, 2010
    • Presented credentials: March 11, 2010
    • Terminated mission: 2012
  • Mark L. Asquino – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: Unknown
    • Presented credentials: June 29, 2012
    • Terminated mission: Incumbent

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sherer was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on February 7, 1969. A nomination of January 9, 1969, was withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it. Sherer was renominated January 31 and confirmed February 7, 1969.
  2. ^ Sherer was also accredited to Togo.
  3. ^ During Sherer’s tenure as non-resident Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, the Embassy in Santa Isabel (now Malabo) was opened August 1, 1969, with Albert N. Williams as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim.
  4. ^ Horan continued to serve as ambassador to Cameroon after resignation as ambassador to Equatorial Guinea.
  5. ^ During Horan’s tenure as non-resident Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, the Embassy in Malabo was reestablished June 11, 1981 with Joanne Thompson as chargé d’affaires ad interim.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]