John Marshall Evans

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John Marshall Evans
John Marshall Evans, US Dept of State photo portrait.jpg
United States Ambassador to Armenia
In office
July 31, 2004 – September 10, 2006
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byJohn Malcolm Ordway
Succeeded byMarie L. Yovanovitch
Personal details
Born1950 (age 72–73)
Newport News, Virginia, U.S.
Alma materYale University
Columbia University

John Marshall Evans (born 1950) is an American former diplomat who served as United States ambassador to Armenia. He was confirmed to this position by the U.S. Senate on June 25, 2004.

Evans began his service on August 8, 2004, but, as confirmed by President George W. Bush on May 24, 2006,[1] was terminated for undisclosed reasons.[2]


Born in Newport News, Virginia in 1950,[3] Evans attended the Williamsburg-James City County public schools and later St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware, where he won the Latin Prize and the St. Andrew's Cross and served as Senior Prefect. He studied Russian history at Yale University, earning an undergraduate degree with honors in Russian Studies. He pursued doctoral studies in history at Columbia University but left after one semester to join the U.S. Foreign Service in 1971. Evans served in the US foreign service in various capacities in Iran, Czechoslovakia, the former Soviet Union, and with the OSCE and NATO, as well as in the Office of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and on the USSR desk. He studied languages and became fluent in Persian, Russian and Czech, as well as French. He does not speak Armenian beyond a smattering of phrases.

Dismissal from Armenian ambassadorship[edit]

Armenian sources have suggested that the sudden dismissal of Evans was caused by his outspoken support for the recognition of the Armenian genocide. Evans said as much in an oral history interview in which he recalled that State Department Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried had accused him of "jamming the President" on the Armenian Genocide issue and that Fried then said, "You're going to have to leave."[4] It has been suggested that Turkey, an important U.S. ally in the Middle East, pressured the Department of State to remove Evans for his personal beliefs and statements.[5][6][7]

After Evans's recall, the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Committee of America put pressure on the U.S. Senate to postpone the appointment of Richard E. Hoagland, the new nominee for the ambassadorship to Armenia, until the Bush administration had clarified the reason for Evans's dismissal and on the suspicion that Hoagland did not sympathize with Armenian causes. Hoagland was nominated by President Bush during the 109th Congress, during which his nomination did not come up for a vote. The Bush Administration re-nominated Hoagland when the 110th session of the United States Congress convened, but the nomination was ultimately not confirmed. A new nominee, Marie L. Yovanovitch, came up for the post in 2008 and served until 2011.[8] Currently Lynne M. Tracy serves in the position as U.S. ambassador to Armenia.


  1. ^ – “U.S. Envoy to Armenia Recalled,” May 24, 2006
  2. ^ U.S. State Department biography – Dead link
  3. ^ John Marshall Evans (1950–)
  4. ^ Evans, John. "Rebel With a Cause — Struggling with the Armenian Genocide". Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Armenian Assembly of America – Press Release July14, 2006: "State Department Responds to Inquiries From Congress Regarding Ambassador Evans' Premature Departure"
  6. ^ Armenian National Committee of America – Press Release June 20, 2006 Archived October 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine: "Armenian American Community Looks to Senate Confirmation Hearing for Answers to Amb. Evans Firing"
  7. ^ Armenian National Committee of America – Press Release March 1, 2005 Archived October 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine: "Rep. Pallone Welcomes Amb. Evans' Remarks Recognizing the Armenian Genocide"
  8. ^ Armenian Assembly of America – Press Release December 6, 2011: "U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern Meets with Armenian Assembly Chairman & Country Director"

Further reading[edit]

  • Evans, John Marshall (2016). Truth Held Hostage: America and the Armenian Genocide – What Then? What Now?. Foreword by Dickran Kouymjian. London: Gomidas Institute. ISBN 978-1909382268.
  • Evans, John Marshall (2016). Therefore, God Must be Armenian!: Sixteen Talks on Armenian Issues, (2007-2012). London: Gomidas Institute. ISBN 978-1909382251.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Armenia
Succeeded by