United States Ambassador to Syria

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Ambassador of the United States to Syria
سفارة الولايات المتحدة في سورية
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Incumbent
Daniel Rubinstein
as Special Envoy

since March 7, 2014
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder George Wadsworth
as Consul General
Formation 1942
Website U.S. Embassy - Damascus

The United States Ambassador to Syria is the official representative of the President of the United States to the President of Syria.

From the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 until 1944, Syria had been under the control of France as a part of the League of Nations French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon. The United States appointed George Wadsworth as Agent and Consul General to Syria and Lebanon on October 9, 1942, to provide a quasi-diplomatic presence in Damascus until the United States determined that Syria achieved effective independence in 1944. The United States recognized Syria as an independent state on September 8, 1944, when the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jamil Mardam Bey, informed the United States that Syria fully recognized and would protect existing rights of the United States and its nationals. This Syrian assurance was in response to a letter sent on September 7, 1944, by the U.S. Diplomatic Agent and Consul General in Syria that offered “full and unconditional recognition” upon receipt of such written assurances. The United States established diplomatic relations with Syria when George Wadsworth presented his credentials as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary on November 17, 1944. Wadsworth was concurrently the envoy to Syria and Lebanon while resident in Beirut.[1]

Egypt and Syria united to form a new state, the United Arab Republic (UAR) on February 22, 1958 with its capital in Cairo. The U. S. recognized the UAR and the embassy in Damascus was reclassified as a Consulate General. Syria seceded from the Union in 1961 and U. S.–Syria diplomatic relations were reestablished on October 10, 1961. The Consulate General was once again elevated to embassy status.[1]

Syria severed diplomatic relations with the U.S. on June 6, 1967 in the wake of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In the interim a U.S. Interests Section in Syria was established on February 8, 1974, in the Italian Embassy with Thomas J. Scotes as Principal Officer. Normal relations were resumed in 1974.[1]

The U. S. recalled its ambassador to Syria in 2005 after the assassination of Rafic Hariri. A series of chargés d’affaires represented the U.S. until the appointment of Robert Stephen Ford in January 2011.[2]

Ambassadors and chiefs of mission[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.
  • George Wadsworth – Career FSO[3]
    • Title: Diplomatic Agent/Consul General
    • Appointed: October 9, 1942
    • Presented credentials: —
    • Terminated mission: Promoted to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary November 17, 1944
  • George Wadsworth – Career FSO[3]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 21, 1944
    • Presented credentials: November 17, 1944
    • Terminated mission: Left Damascus February 8, 1947
  • Paul Humiston Alling – Career FSO[4]
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 10, 1947
  • James Hugh Keeley, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 8, 1947
    • Presented credentials: August 2, 1948
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 22, 1950
  • Cavendish W. Cannon – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 20, 1950
    • Presented credentials: October 30, 1950
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 8, 1952
  • James S. Moose, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 25, 1952
    • Presented credentials: August 14, 1952
    • Terminated mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary September 30, 1952

Note: On September 30, 1952, the U.S. legation in Damascus was upgraded to embassy status. This required a promotion and new commission for the envoy.[5]

  • James S. Moose, Jr. – Career FSO[6]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 11, 1952
    • Presented credentials: September 30, 1952
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 30, 1957
  • Charles W. Yost – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 24, 1957
    • Presented credentials: January 16, 1958
    • Terminated mission: Embassy downgraded to consulate status, February 22, 1958

Note: Syria joined Egypt to form the United Arab Republic on February 22, 1958. The U.S. embassy in Damascus was downgraded to consulate status. After Syria seceded from the UAR, the consulate was reestablished as an embassy on October 10, 1961.

  • Ridgway B. Knight – Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
    • Appointed: October 10, 1961
    • Presented credentials: —
    • Terminated mission: Promoted to Ambassador January 11, 1962
  • Ridgway B. Knight – Career FSO[7]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 7, 1961
    • Presented credentials: January 11, 1962
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 27, 1965
  • Hugh H. Smythe – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 22, 1965
    • Presented credentials: October 28, 1965
    • Terminated mission: Left post Jun 8, 1967

Note: Syria severed diplomatic relations with the U.S. on June 6, 1967. Ambassador Smythe departed Syria two days later.

Note: The U.S. established a U.S. Interests Section on February 8, 1974 in the Italian Embassy with Thomas J. Scotes as Principal Officer. The Embassy in Damascus was reestablished on June 16, 1974, with Scotes as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.

  • Thomas J. Scotes – Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
    • Appointed: June 16, 1974
    • Presented credentials: —
    • Terminated mission: Superseded by Ambassador Murphy, September 9, 1974
  • Richard W. Murphy – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 9, 1974
    • Presented credentials: September 9, 1974
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 23, 1978
  • Talcott W. Seelye – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 31, 1978
    • Presented credentials: September 17, 1978
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 31, 1981
  • Robert P. Paganelli – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 28, 1981
    • Presented credentials: November 12, 1981
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 13, 1984
  • William L. Eagleton, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 4, 1984
    • Presented credentials: December 6, 1984
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 31, 1988
  • Edward Peter Djerejian – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 12, 1988
    • Presented credentials: October 2, 1988
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 25, 1991
  • Christopher W.S. Ross – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 2, 1991
    • Presented credentials: September 25, 1991
    • Terminated mission: Left post March 22, 1998
  • Ryan Crocker – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 29, 1998
    • Presented credentials: June 6, 1999
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 30, 2001
  • Theodore H. Kattouf – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 7, 2001
    • Presented credentials: January 12, 2002
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 23, 2003
  • Margaret Scobey – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 12, 2003
    • Presented credentials: January 10, 2004
    • Terminated mission: Left post February 16, 2005

Note: Ambassador Scobey was recalled “for urgent consultations” on February 15, 2005, after the assassination of Rafic Hariri. Several chargés represented the U.S. until January 2011.

  • Robert Stephen Ford – Career FSO[8][9]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 29, 2010
    • Presented credentials: January 2010
    • Terminated mission: February 2014

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Syria". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  2. ^ "Background Note: Syria". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  3. ^ a b Wadsworth was oncurrently commissioned to Syria and Lebanon while resident in Beirut.
  4. ^ Alling was appointed and took the oath of office, but did not proceed to post. He was instead commissioned as the first Ambassador to Pakistan.
  5. ^ "About the Embassy". United States Department of State, U.S. Embassy Damascus. Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  6. ^ Moose was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on Jun 4, 1953.
  7. ^ Knight was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on January 30, 1962.
  8. ^ "Obama nominates first US ambassador to Syria since 2005". BBC News. 17 February 2010. 
  9. ^ Recess appointment; expires at the end of 2011 unless confirmed by the Senate. "List of Ambassadorial Appointments". United States Foreign Service Association. August 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 

External links[edit]