United States Ambassador to Liberia

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Ambassador of the United States to Liberia
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Incumbent
Deborah R. Malac

since July 26, 2012
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder Abraham Hanson
as Commissioner/Consul General
Formation June 8, 1863
Website U.S. Embassy - Monrovia

This is a record of Ambassadors of the United States to Liberia.

Liberia, as a nation, had its beginnings in 1821 when groups of free blacks from the United States emigrated from the U.S. and began establishing colonies on the coast under the direction of the American Colonization Society. Between 1821 and 1847, by a combination of purchase and conquest, American Societies developed the colonies under the name “Liberia”, dominating the native inhabitants of the area. In 1847 the colony declared itself an independent nation. Because it was already established as a nation, Liberia avoided becoming a European colony during the great age of European colonies in Africa during the latter half of the 19th century.

The United States recognized Liberia as an independent state in 1862 and commissioned its first representative to Liberia in 1863. The representative, Abraham Hanson, was appointed as Commissioner/Consul General. The status of the commissioner was later upgraded to Minister, and finally to full Ambassador in 1949. Relations between the United States and Liberia have been continuous since that time.

Eight U.S. ambassadors have died at their post serving in Liberia.

The U.S. Embassy in Liberia is located in Monrovia.

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.
  • President Lincoln nominated John J. Henry of Delaware for the post on March 11, 1863 but Henry declined the appointment.
  • Abraham Hanson[1]
    • Title: Commissioner/Consul General
    • Appointed: June 8, 1863
    • Presented credentials: February 23, 1864
    • Terminated mission: Died at post on or before July 20, 1866

Note: The office was upgraded to Minister Resident/Consul General beginning with the next envoy.

  • John Seys[2]
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: October 8, 1866
    • Presented credentials: January 2, 1867
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 11, 1870
  • President Johnson appointed J. R. Clay to the office in 1869 but the nomination was not confirmed by the Senate.
  • President Grant appointed F. E. Dumas to the office on April 21, 1869 but Dumas declined the appointment.
  • James W. Mason
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: March 29, 1870
    • Presented credentials: Did not proceed to his post, did not present credentials
  • J. Milton Turner
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: March 1, 1871
    • Presented credentials: July 19, 1871
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 7, 1878
  • John H. Smyth
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: May 23, 1878
    • Presented credentials: August 19, 1878
    • Terminated mission: Relinquished charge to his successor, December 22, 1881
  • Henry Highland Garnet[3]
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: June 30, 1881
    • Presented credentials: December 22, 1881
    • Terminated mission: Died at post February 13, 1882
  • John H. Smyth
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: April 12, 1882
    • Presented credentials: August 4, 1882
    • Terminated mission: Presented recall, December 14, 1885, when his successor presented credentials
  • Moses A. Hopkins[4]
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: September 11, 1885
    • Presented credentials: December 14, 1885
    • Terminated mission: Died at post August 3, 1886
  • Charles H. J. Taylor[5]
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: March 11, 1887
    • Presented credentials: June 4, 1887
    • Terminated mission: Left post soon after September 22, 1887
  • Ezekiel E. Smith
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: April 24, 1888
    • Presented credentials: July 21, 1888
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 20, 1890
  • Alexander Clark
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: August 16, 1890
    • Presented credentials: November 25, 1890
    • Terminated mission: Died at post May 31, 1891
  • William D. McCoy
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: January 11, 1892
    • Presented credentials: March 28, 1892
    • Terminated mission: Died at post May 15, 1893
  • William H. Heard
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: February 23, 1895
    • Presented credentials: May 6, 1895
    • Terminated mission: Presented recall, April 28, 1898
  • Owen L. W. Smith
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: February 11, 1898
    • Presented credentials: On or shortly before May 11, 1898
    • Terminated mission: Presented recall, May 13, 1902
  • John R. A. Crossland
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: January 16, 1902
    • Presented credentials: May 13, 1902
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 30, 1903
  • Ernest Lyon
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: March 16, 1903
    • Presented credentials: July 27, 1903
    • Terminated mission: Probably presented recall on or shortly before August 25, 1910
  • William D. Crum
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: June 13, 1910
    • Presented credentials: August 25, 1910
    • Terminated mission: Left post September 17, 1912
  • Fred R. Moore[6]
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: March 1, 1913
    • Presented credentials: Did not proceed to post, did not present credentials
  • George Washington Buckner – Political appointee
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: September 10, 1913
    • Presented credentials: December 8, 1913
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 15, 1915
  • James L. Curtis[7] – Political appointee
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: October 25, 1915
    • Presented credentials: December 29, 1915
    • Terminated mission: Left post October 20, 1917
  • Joseph J. Johnson – Political appointee
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: August 27, 1918
    • Presented credentials: October 8, 1919
    • Terminated mission: Presented recall, February 13, 1922, the day on which his successor presented credentials
  • Solomon Porter Hood – Political appointee
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: October 26, 1921
    • Presented credentials: February 13, 1922
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 9, 1926
  • President Coolidge appointed James G. Carter (a career FSO) to the office on March 1, 1927, but Carter declined the appointment.
  • William T. Francis[8] – Political appointee
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: July 9, 1927
    • Presented credentials: November 30, 1927
    • Terminated mission: Died at post July 15, 1929
  • Charles E. Mitchell[9] – Political appointee
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: September 10, 1930

Note: The ministerial post was upgraded to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary after Mitchell (above) had taken his oath of office but before he proceeded to his post. He was recommissioned with the above title on January 20, 1931.

  • Charles E. Mitchell – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: January 20, 1931
    • Presented credentials: Did not present credentials
    • Terminated mission: Left post March 22, 1933, the government of Liberia having requested his recall on February 11, 1933.
  • Lester A. Walton – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 22, 1935
    • Presented credentials: October 2, 1935
    • Terminated mission: Left post February 28, 1946
  • Raphael O'Hara Lanier – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 13, 1946
    • Presented credentials: July 1, 1946
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 8, 1948
  • Edward R. Dudley[10] – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 11, 1948
    • Presented credentials: October 18, 1948
    • Terminated mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary March 18, 1949
  • Edward R. Dudley – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 18, 1949
    • Presented credentials: May 6, 1949
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 15, 1953
  • Jesse D. Locker – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 22, 1953
    • Presented credentials: October 16, 1953
    • Terminated mission: Died at post April 10, 1955
  • Richard Lee Jones – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 31, 1955
    • Presented credentials: June 24, 1955
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 24, 1959
  • Elbert G. Mathews – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 12, 1959
    • Presented credentials: September 30, 1959
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 4, 1962
  • Charles Edward Rhetts – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 5, 1962
    • Presented credentials: August 7, 1962
    • Terminated mission: Left Liberia, September 30, 1964
  • Ben H. Brown, Jr.[11] – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 25, 1964
    • Presented credentials: January 6, 1965
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 17, 1969
  • Samuel Z. Westerfield, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 8, 1969
    • Presented credentials: December 9, 1969
    • Terminated mission: Died at post July 19, 1972
  • Melvin L. Manfull[12] – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 2, 1972
    • Presented credentials: December 22, 1972
    • Terminated mission: Left post December 15, 1975
  • W. Beverly Carter, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 6, 1976
    • Presented credentials: April 23, 1976
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 1, 1979
  • Robert P. Smith – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 2, 1979
    • Presented credentials: August 6, 1979
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 15, 1981
  • William Lacy Swing – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 18, 1981
    • Presented credentials: August 11, 1981
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 10, 1985
  • Edward Joseph Perkins – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 12, 1985
    • Presented credentials: August 28, 1985
    • Terminated mission: Left post October 22, 1986
  • James Keough Bishop – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 27, 1987
    • Presented credentials: May 4, 1987
    • Terminated mission: Left post March 31, 1990
  • Peter Jon de Vos – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 22, 1990
    • Presented credentials: Did not present credentials[13]
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 27, 1992

Note: From 1992–1999 the following officers served as chargés d’affaires ad interim: William H. Twaddell (September 1992–July 1995), William B. Milam (November 1995–January 1999), and Donald K. Petterson (February 1999–August 1999).

  • Bismarck Myrick – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 7, 1999
    • Presented credentials: August 20, 1999
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 23, 2002
  • John William Blaney – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 8, 2002
    • Presented credentials: October 3, 2002
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 13, 2005
  • Donald E. Booth – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 21, 2005
    • Presented credentials: August 9, 2005
    • Terminated mission: c. August 2008
  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 18, 2008
    • Presented credentials: c. August 2008
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 2, 2012
  • Deborah R. Malac – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 26, 2012
    • Presented credentials: September 20, 2012
    • Terminated mission: Incumbent

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hanson was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on January 12, 1864.
  2. ^ Seys was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on February 21, 1867.
  3. ^ Garnet was commissioned during a recess of the Senate. His date of commissioning is not recorded. The commission was enclosed with an instruction of July 19, 1881. He was recommissioned after confirmation on October 26, 1881.
  4. ^ Hopkins was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on January 13, 1886.
  5. ^ Taylor was commissioned during a recess of the Senate. [Apparently not recommissioned.]
  6. ^ Moore took the oath of office but did not proceed to his post.
  7. ^ Curtis was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on December 17, 1915.
  8. ^ Francis was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on December 17, 1927.
  9. ^ Mitchel was commissioned as Minister Resident/Consul General on September 10, 1930, and recommissioned after confirmation on December 16, 1930.
  10. ^ Dudley was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on March 2, 1949.
  11. ^ Brown was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on January 18, 1965.
  12. ^ Manfull was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on February 8, 1973.
  13. ^ de Vos arrived at his post on June 28, 1990. He had not presented credentials before the overthrow of the government of Liberia on September 11, 1990.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]