William Phillips (diplomat)

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William Phillips
Latest photo, just received from Holland, of W. Phillips, American Minister to Holland.jpg
2nd Assistant Secretary of State
In office
January 24, 1917 – March 25, 1920
President Woodrow Wilson
Preceded by John E. Osborne
Succeeded by Fred Morris Dearing
Under Secretary of State
In office
April 26, 1922 – April 11, 1924
President Warren G. Harding
Preceded by Henry P. Fletcher
Succeeded by Joseph C. Grew
United States Ambassador to Belgium
In office
February 29, 1924 – March 1, 1927
President Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by Henry P. Fletcher
Succeeded by Hugh S. Gibson
United States Ambassador to Canada
In office
February 17, 1927 – December 14, 1929
President Herbert Hoover
Succeeded by Hanford MacNider
Under Secretary of State
In office
March 6, 1933 – August 23, 1936
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by William R. Castle, Jr.
Succeeded by Sumner Welles
United States Ambassador to Italy
In office
August 4, 1936 – October 6, 1941
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded by Breckinridge Long
Succeeded by George Wadsworth
Personal details
Born (1878-05-30)May 30, 1878
Beverly, Massachusetts
Died February 23, 1968(1968-02-23) (aged 89)
Alma mater Harvard College;
Harvard Law School

William Phillips (May 30, 1878 – February 23, 1968) was a career United States diplomat who served twice as an Under Secretary of State.

Life[edit]

Phillips was born in Beverly, Massachusetts. He attended Harvard College in 1900 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1903. His first political job was working as a secretary in London to Joseph Hodges Choate, the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Choate was a friend of Phillips' family and also from Massachusetts.

Phillips subsequently went to work for the Ambassador to China in Beijing. In 1908, while in China, he was assigned to set up the State Department's Division of Far Eastern Affairs and was made its first chief. In 1909 he returned to work in London.

In 1917, he was appointed as Assistant Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson and remained in that position until 1920, when he was made the Minister Plenipotentiary to Netherlands and Luxembourg (in residence in the Netherlands).[1]

From 1922 to 1924, he served as Under Secretary of State. In 1924, he was appointed as Ambassador to Belgium, where he remained until 1927, when he became the first Minister to Canada, until 1929.[1]

He served as Under Secretary of State again from 1933 to 1936.[1]

In 1936, he was appointed as the Ambassador to Italy (which was then led by Benito Mussolini), in the immediate aftermath of that country's invasion of Ethiopia. He resigned on October 6, 1941. The following year, he was made chief of the United States Office of Strategic Services in London.[1]

In October 1942, Phillips was appointed as a personal representative of Franklin D. Roosevelt, serving in India.[2] (The United States would not have an official Mission there until the country's Independence in 1947.) Phillips was said to be extremely unpopular with the British due to his pro-Independence views. In 1943, he was made as a Special Advisor on European political matters to then- General Dwight D. Eisenhower, with the rank of Ambassador.[1]

Phillips retired officially in 1944 but returned briefly to diplomatic life in 1945 when he was made a special assistant to Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. In 1946, he served on the Anglo-American Committee on Palestine, opposing the British plan for partitioning the country. In 1947, he was unsuccessful in mediating a border dispute between Siam and French Indo-China.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "William Phillips, Former Ambassador, Dies at 89.". New York Times. New York, N.Y.; pg. 27, 1 pgs. February 24, 1968. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Phillips to India, Time Magazine, 1942-12-21.

External links[edit]

"William Phillips (1878-1968)". State Department. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 

Government offices
Preceded by
Huntington Wilson
Third Assistant Secretary of State
January 11, 1909 – October 13, 1909
Succeeded by
Chandler Hale
Preceded by
Dudley Field Malone
Third Assistant Secretary of State
March 17, 1914 – January 24, 1917
Succeeded by
Breckinridge Long
Preceded by
John E. Osborne
United States Assistant Secretary of State
1917 – 1920
Succeeded by
Fred Morris Dearing
Preceded by
Henry P. Fletcher
Under Secretary of State
1922 – 1924
Succeeded by
Joseph C. Grew
Preceded by
William R. Castle, Jr.
Under Secretary of State
1933 – 1936
Succeeded by
Sumner Welles
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John W. Garrett
United States ambassador to Luxembourg
1920 – 1922
Succeeded by
Richard M. Tobin
Preceded by
John W. Garrett
U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands
1920 – 1922
Succeeded by
Richard M. Tobin
Preceded by
Henry P. Fletcher
United States ambassador to Belgium
1924 – 1927
Succeeded by
Hugh S. Gibson
Preceded by
None
United States ambassador to Canada
1927 – 1929
Succeeded by
Hanford MacNider
Preceded by
Breckinridge Long
United States ambassador to Italy
1936 – 1941
Succeeded by
George Wadsworth
Chargé d'Affaires ad interim