United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
|Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Kingdom
Ambassador of the United States to the Court of St James's
Seal of the United States Department of State
|U.S. Department of State
Embassy of the United States, London
|Style||His Excellency (Formal)
Mr. Ambassador (Informal)
|Reports to||U.S. Secretary of State|
|Seat||London, United Kingdom|
with the advice and consent of the Senate
|Term length||At the pleasure of the President
No fixed term
|Inaugural holder||John Adams
as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James's
|Website||US Embassy – London|
The United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (known formally in the United Kingdom as Ambassador of the United States to the Court of St James's) is the official representative of the President and the Government of the United States of America to the Queen and Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The position is regarded as one of the most prestigious positions in the United States Foreign Service due to the so-called "Special Relationship". The ambassadorship has been held by various notable politicians, including five who would later become presidents: John Adams, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan. However, the modern tendency of American presidents (of both parties) is to appoint keen political fundraisers from previous presidential campaigns, despite the importance and prestige of the office.
The ambassador's main duty is to present U.S. policies to the Government of the United Kingdom and people and to report British policies and views to the Federal government of the United States. He serves as a primary channel of communication between the two nations and plays an important role in treaty negotiations.
The ambassador is the head of the United States's consular service in the United Kingdom. As well as directing diplomatic activity in support of trade, he is ultimately responsible for visa services and for the provision of consular support to American citizens in the UK. He also oversees cultural relations between the two countries.
Ambassadors who later became U.S. presidents
- John Adams (1785–1788)
- James Monroe (1803–1807)
- John Quincy Adams (1814–1817)
- Martin Van Buren (1831–1832)
- James Buchanan (1853–1856)
List of U.S. Chiefs of Mission to the Court of St. James
|Adams, JohnJohn Adams||February 24, 1785||June 1, 1785||February 20, 1788||Congress||Second President of the United States[a]|
|Pinckney, ThomasThomas Pinckney||January 12, 1792||August 9, 1792||July 27, 1796||Washington, GeorgeGeorge Washington|
|King, RufusRufus King||May 20, 1796||July 27, 1796||May 16, 1803|
|Monroe, JamesJames Monroe||1803||August 17, 1803||October 7, 1807||Jefferson, ThomasThomas Jefferson||Fifth President of the United States|
|Pinkney, WilliamWilliam Pinkney||February 26, 1808||April 27, 1808||May 7, 1811|
|Russell, JonathanJonathan Russell||July 27, 1811||November 15, 1811||June 18, 1812||Madison, JamesJames Madison||[b]|
Diplomatic relations with Great Britain were restored after the War of 1812. The Congress of Vienna (1815) established a uniform system of diplomatic rank. As a republic, the United States maintained diplomatic relations with Great Britain at the second-highest rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. The rank was colloquially known as Minister, and the position continued to be referred to as "United States Minister to Great Britain."
|Adams, John QuincyJohn Quincy Adams||April 28, 1814||June 8, 1815||May 14, 1817||Madison, JamesJames Madison||Sixth President of the United States|
|Rush, RichardRichard Rush||1817||February 12, 1818||April 27, 1825||Monroe, JamesJames Monroe|
|King, RufusRufus King||May 5, 1825||November 11, 1825||June 16, 1826||Adams, John QuincyJohn Quincy Adams|
|Gallatin, AlbertAlbert Gallatin||May 10, 1826||September 1, 1826||October 4, 1827|
|Barbour, JamesJames Barbour||May 23, 1828||November 24, 1828||October 1, 1829|
|McLane, LouisLouis McLane||1829||October 12, 1829||June 13, 1831||Jackson, AndrewAndrew Jackson|
|Van Buren, MartinMartin Van Buren||August 8, 1831||September 21, 1831||March 19, 1832||Eighth President of the United States|
|Vail, AaronAaron Vail||July 13, 1832||July 13, 1836||[c]|
|Stevenson, AndrewAndrew Stevenson||March 16, 1836||July 13, 1836||October 21, 1841|
|Everett, EdwardEdward Everett||1841||December 16, 1841||August 8, 1845||Harrison, William HenryWilliam Henry Harrison|
|McLane, LouisLouis McLane||1845||August 8, 1845||August 18, 1846||Polk, James K.James K. Polk|
|Bancroft, GeorgeGeorge Bancroft||September 9, 1846||November 12, 1846||August 31, 1849|
|Lawrence, AbbottAbbott Lawrence||August 20, 1849||October 20, 1849||October 12, 1852||Taylor, ZacharyZachary Taylor|
|Ingersoll, Joseph R.Joseph R. Ingersoll||August 21, 1852||October 16, 1852||August 23, 1853||Fillmore, MillardMillard Fillmore|
|Buchanan, JamesJames Buchanan||August 20, 1849||August 23, 1853||March 15, 1856||Pierce, FranklinFranklin Pierce|
|Dallas, George M.George M. Dallas||February 4, 1856||April 4, 1856||May 16, 1861|
|Adams Sr., Charles FrancisCharles Francis Adams Sr.||March 20, 1861||May 16, 1861||May 13, 1868||Lincoln, AbrahamAbraham Lincoln|
|Johnson, ReverdyReverdy Johnson||June 12, 1868||September 14, 1868||May 13, 1869||Johnson, AndrewAndrew Johnson|
|Motley, John LothropJohn Lothrop Motley||April 13, 1869||June 18, 1869||December 6, 1870||Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant|
|Schenck, Robert C.Robert C. Schenck||December 22, 1870||June 23, 1871||March 3, 1876|
|Pierrepont, EdwardsEdwards Pierrepont||May 22, 1876||July 11, 1876||December 22, 1877|
|Welsh, JohnJohn Welsh||November 9, 1877||December 22, 1877||August 14, 1879||Hayes, Rutherford B.Rutherford B. Hayes|
|Lowell, James RussellJames Russell Lowell||January 26, 1880||March 11, 1880||May 19, 1885|
|Phelps, Edward JohnEdward John Phelps||March 23, 1885||May 19, 1885||January 31, 1889||Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland|
|Lincoln, Robert ToddRobert Todd Lincoln||March 30, 1889||May 25, 1889||May 4, 1893||Harrison, BenjaminBenjamin Harrison|
Although France became a republic in 1870, the country continued to exchange ambassadors with other Great Powers. In 1893, the United States followed the French precedent and upgraded its relations with other Great Powers to the ambassadorial level. The United States Legation in London became the United States Embassy, and the United States Minister to Great Britain became the United States Ambassador to Great Britain.
|Bayard, Thomas F.Thomas F. Bayard||1893||June 22, 1893||March 17, 1897||Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland|
|Hay, JohnJohn Hay||1897||May 3, 1897||September 12, 1898||McKinley, WilliamWilliam McKinley|
|Choate, Joseph HodgesJoseph Hodges Choate||January 19, 1899||March 6, 1899||May 23, 1905|
|Reid, WhitelawWhitelaw Reid||March 8, 1905||June 5, 1905||December 15, 1912||Roosevelt, TheodoreTheodore Roosevelt||†|
|Page, Walter HinesWalter Hines Page||April 21, 1913||May 30, 1913||October 3, 1918||Wilson, WoodrowWoodrow Wilson|
|Davis, John W.John W. Davis||November 21, 1918||December 18, 1918||March 9, 1921|
|Harvey, George Brinton McClellanGeorge Brinton McClellan Harvey||April 16, 1921||May 12, 1921||November 3, 1923||Harding, Warren G.Warren G. Harding|
|Kellogg, Frank B.Frank B. Kellogg||1924||January 14, 1924||February 10, 1925||Coolidge, CalvinCalvin Coolidge|
|Houghton, Alanson B.Alanson B. Houghton||February 24, 1925||April 27, 1925||March 28, 1929|
|Dawes, Charles G.Charles G. Dawes||April 16, 1929||June 15, 1929||December 30, 1931||Hoover, HerbertHerbert Hoover|
|Mellon, Andrew W.Andrew W. Mellon||February 5, 1932||April 9, 1932||March 17, 1933|
|Bingham, Robert WorthRobert Worth Bingham||March 23, 1933||May 23, 1933||November 19, 1937||Roosevelt, Franklin D.Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Kennedy, Joseph P.Joseph P. Kennedy||January 17, 1938||March 8, 1938||October 22, 1940|
|Winant, John G.John G. Winant||February 11, 1941||March 1, 1941||April 10, 1946|
|Harriman, W. AverellW. Averell Harriman||April 2, 1946||April 30, 1946||October 1, 1946||Truman, Harry S.Harry S. Truman|
|Douglas, Lewis W.Lewis W. Douglas||March 6, 1947||March 25, 1947||November 16, 1950|
|Gifford, Walter S.Walter S. Gifford||December 12, 1950||December 21, 1950||January 23, 1953|
|Aldrich, Winthrop W.Winthrop W. Aldrich||February 2, 1953||February 20, 1953||February 1, 1957||Eisenhower, Dwight D.Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|Whitney, John HayJohn Hay Whitney||February 11, 1957||February 28, 1957||January 14, 1961|
|Bruce, David K. E.David K. E. Bruce||February 22, 1961||March 17, 1961||March 20, 1969||Kennedy, John F.John F. Kennedy|
|Annenberg, WalterWalter Annenberg||March 14, 1969||April 29, 1969||October 30, 1974||Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon|
|Richardson, ElliotElliot Richardson||February 20, 1975||March 21, 1975||January 16, 1976||Ford, GeraldGerald Ford|
|Armstrong, AnneAnne Armstrong||January 29, 1976||March 17, 1976||March 3, 1977|
|Brewster, Jr., KingmanKingman Brewster, Jr.||April 29, 1977||June 3, 1977||February 23, 1981||Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter|
|Louis, Jr., John J.John J. Louis, Jr.||May 7, 1981||May 27, 1981||November 7, 1983||Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan|
|Price II, Charles H.Charles H. Price II||November 11, 1983||December 20, 1983||February 28, 1989|
|Catto, Jr., Henry E.Henry E. Catto, Jr.||April 14, 1989||May 17, 1989||March 13, 1991||Bush, George H. W.George H. W. Bush|
|Seitz, Raymond G. H.Raymond G. H. Seitz||April 25, 1991||June 25, 1991||May 10, 1994|
|Crowe, Jr., William J.William J. Crowe, Jr.||May 13, 1994||June 2, 1994||September 20, 1997||Clinton, BillBill Clinton|
|Lader, PhilipPhilip Lader||August 1, 1997||September 22, 1997||February 28, 2001|
|Farish III, William S.William S. Farish III||July 12, 2001||August 1, 2001||June 11, 2004||Bush, George W.George W. Bush|
|Tuttle, Robert H.Robert H. Tuttle||July 9, 2005||October 19, 2005||February 6, 2009|
|Susman, LouisLouis Susman||July 13, 2009||October 13, 2009||April 3, 2013||Obama, BarackBarack Obama|
|Barzun, MatthewMatthew Barzun||August 6, 2013||December 4, 2013||January 18, 2017||[d]|
|Woody Johnson||January 19, 2017||August 29, 2017||Incumbent||Donald Trump|||
- Ambassadors of the United States
- British Embassy, Washington, D.C.
- Foreign relations of the United Kingdom
- List of Ambassadors from the United Kingdom to the United States
- United Kingdom – United States relations
Notes and references
- John Adams became so frustrated with his cool reception at the court that he closed the legation in 1788 and the post remained vacant for four years.
- From 1811 to the outbreak of the War of 1812, chargé d'affaires Johnathan Russell was the chief United States officer in London. The United States severed relations with the United Kingdom on the outbreak of the War of 1812 – Normal relations were restored in 1815.
- Chargé d'affaires
- Lewis Lukens became the chargé d'affaires.
- Collier, Peter; Horowitz, David (2002). The Kennedys: An American Drama. p. 6.
- "United Kingdom". Diplomatic History of the United States. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
- Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (5 January 2017). "In Break With Precedent, Obama Envoys Are Denied Extensions Past Inauguration Day". The New York Times.
- "Biography of Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun". U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- "Who is Woody Johnson, Trump's new ambassador to the UK?". RT International. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- United States Department of State: Background notes on the United Kingdom
- This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index.htm (Background Notes).
- Alison R. Holmes and J. Simon Rofe, The Embassy in Grosvenor Square: American Ambassadors to the United Kingdom, 1938–2008. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.