United States Ambassador to Norway

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Ambassador of the United States to Norway
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Incumbent
Vacant since September 2013
Inaugural holder Charles H. Graves
as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Formation March 8, 1905
Website U.S. Embassy - Oslo

Since the United States was recognized as an independent country in 1783, it first established diplomatic relations with Norway in 1818 when Jonathan Russell was accepted as the Minister Plenipotentiary to Sweden and Norway. From 1814 to 1905, Sweden and Norway were in a personal union. Although each country was fully sovereign, they had a common foreign policy and diplomatic service. The United States Ambassador to Sweden thus was the US representative to Norway as well as Sweden. In 1905 Sweden and Norway peacefully separated and Norway continued to be an independent constitutional monarchy. On November 14, 1905, the US State Department instructed Ambassador Charles H. Graves to handle affairs for Sweden and Norway separately and the Ambassador was thus commissioned to Norway equally with Sweden, though he remained in Stockholm.

On June 22, 1906, Herbert H. D. Peirce was appointed to be the first ambassador of the US appointed specifically solely for Norway. On August 6, 1906, the embassy in Stockholm ceased all functions related to Norway. Peirce presented his credentials to the foreign minister of Norway on August 13, 1906.

In September 2013 George James Tsunis was nominated to new ambassador after out-going Barry B. White. Tsuni's senate hearing gathered several negative reactions about his qualifications both in Norway and the US.[1] The nomination was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as of November 2014 is awaiting approval of the Senate.

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.
“Villa Otium,” the residence of the US Ambassador in Oslo, Norway
  • Charles H. Graves[2]
    • Appointed: March 8, 1905
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: May 31, 1905
    • Terminated mission: Terminated functions with respect to Norway, August 6, 1906
  • Herbert H. D. Peirce
    • Appointed: June 22, 1906
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: August 13, 1906
    • Terminated mission: Presented recall, May 30, 1911
  • Laurits S. Swenson
    • Appointed: April 27, 1911
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: June 10, 1911
    • Terminated mission: Presented recall, October 4, 1913
  • Albert G. Schmedeman – Political appointee
    • Appointed: July 21, 1913
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: October 4, 1913
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 29, 1921
  • Laurits S. Swenson – Political appointee
    • Appointed: October 8, 1921
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: November 28, 1921
    • Terminated mission: Left post November 9, 1930
  • Hoffman Philip[3] – Career FSO
    • Appointed: July 22, 1930
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: November 15, 1930
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 3, 1935
  • Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr. – Political appointee
    • Appointed: July 22, 1935
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: September 7, 1935
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 21, 1937

Note: During the German occupation of Norway in WWII, the government of Norway fled to England and set up a government-in-exile in London. The United States maintained diplomatic relations with Norway during the war, with the ambassador staying in London near the government offices.

  • Florence Jaffray Harriman[4][5] – Political appointee
    • Appointed: May 4, 1937
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: July 1, 1937
    • Terminated mission: Left Norway, April 22, 1940
  • Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.[6] – Political appointee
    • Appointed: February 11, 1941
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: March 20, 1941
    • Terminated mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary May 12, 1942

Note: The title of the office was changed to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on May 12, 1942. This required a new appointment and commission.

  • Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.[6] – Political appointee
    • Appointed: May 12, 1942
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: May 13, 1942
    • Terminated mission: Left London, December 1, 1943
  • Lithgow Osborne[7] – Career FSO
    • Appointed: September 21, 1944
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: December 20, 1944
    • Terminated mission: Left Oslo, April 20, 1946
  • Charles Ulrick Bay – Political appointee
    • Appointed: June 6, 1946
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: July 26, 1946
    • Terminated mission: Appointment terminated, July 31, 1953
  • L. Corrin Strong – Political appointee
    • Appointed: June 24, 1953
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: August 10, 1953
    • Terminated mission: Left post February 16, 1957
  • Frances E. Willis – Career FSO
    • Appointed: May 20, 1957
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: June 19, 1957
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 15, 1961
  • Clifton R. Wharton, Sr. – Career FSO
    • Appointed: March 2, 1961
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: April 18, 1961
    • Terminated mission: Left post September 4, 1964
  • Margaret Joy Tibbetts – Career FSO
    • Appointed: July 31, 1964
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: October 6, 1964
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 23, 1969
  • Philip K. Crowe – Political appointee
    • Appointed: May 1, 1969
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: June 23, 1969
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 31, 1973
  • Thomas R. Byrne – Political appointee
    • Appointed: August 3, 1973
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: October 4, 1973
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 10, 1976
  • William A. Anders – Political appointee
    • Appointed: April 13, 1976
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: May 11, 1976
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 18, 1977
  • Louis A. Lerner – Political appointee
    • Appointed: July 15, 1977
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: August 23, 1977
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 28, 1980
  • Sidney Anders Rand – Political appointee
    • Appointed: December 20, 1979
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: March 4, 1980
    • Terminated mission: Left post February 14, 1981
  • Mark Evans Austad – Political appointee
    • Appointed: December 11, 1981
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: January 5, 1982
    • Terminated mission: Left post September 15, 1984
  • Robert D. Stuart – Political appointee
    • Appointed: September 18, 1984
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: October 16, 1984
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 17, 1989
  • Loret Miller Ruppe – Political appointee
    • Appointed: August 7, 1989
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: August 29, 1989
    • Terminated mission: Left post February 28, 1993
  • Thomas A. Loftus – Political appointee
    • Appointed: November 4, 1993
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: November 18, 1993
    • Terminated mission: Left post December 22, 1997
  • David B. Hermelin – Political appointee
    • Appointed: November 10, 1997
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: January 8, 1998
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 7, 2000
  • Robin Chandler Duke[8] – Political appointee
    • Appointed: August 3, 2000
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: September 12, 2000
    • Terminated mission: Left post March 1, 2001
  • John D. Ong – Political appointee
    • Appointed: January 30, 2002
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: February 27, 2002
    • Terminated mission: Left post November 21, 2005
  • Benson K. Whitney – Political appointee
    • Appointed: November 2, 2005
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: January 12, 2006
    • Terminated mission: 2009
  • Barry B. White – Political appointee
    • Appointed: September 22, 2009
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Presented credentials: November 5, 2009
    • Terminated mission: September, 2013

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Andrew Johnson (June 10, 2014) No Way on Norway Ambassador National Review.
  2. ^ Commissioned to Sweden and Norway; resident at Stockholm, Sweden. On November 14, 1905, he acknowledged instructions to exercise the functions of his office toward Norway separately.
  3. ^ Philip was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on December 16, 1930.
  4. ^ The Government of Norway left Oslo, April 9, 1940, in anticipation of German occupation. Harriman departed 13 days later.
  5. ^ Raymond E. Cox was serving as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim when the legation in Oslo was closed, July 15, 1940. Rudolf E. Schoenfeld opened the legation near the Government of Norway that was established in England, making his initial call as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim on August 2, 1940.
  6. ^ a b Biddle served near the Government of Norway in exile that was established in England. Biddle was commissioned also to Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, and Yugoslavia. He was resident at London.
  7. ^ Osborne served near the Government of Norway that was established in England and he was resident first at London. When the government of Norway returned to Oslo, Osborne transferred the embassy to Oslo on May 31, 1945.
  8. ^ Duke was commissioned during a recess of the Senate. A later nomination of September 28, 2000, was not acted upon by the Senate.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]