United States Ambassador to Iceland
|Ambassador of the United States to Iceland|
Seal of the United States Department of State
|Nominator||The President of the United States|
|Inaugural holder||Lincoln MacVeagh
as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
|Formation||8 August 1941|
|Website||U.S. Embassy - Reykjavík|
Until 1874, Iceland was a dependency of Denmark rather than an independent nation. In 1874, Denmark granted Iceland home rule, which again was expanded in 1904. In 1918, The Act of Union, an agreement between Denmark, recognised Iceland as a fully sovereign state united with Denmark under a common king. Iceland established its own flag and asked that Denmark represent its foreign affairs and defense interests. Thus the United States Ambassador to Denmark conducted foreign relations between the United States and Iceland.
German occupation of Denmark on 9 April 1940, severed communications between Iceland and Denmark. As a result, on 10 April the Parliament of Iceland elected to take control of foreign affairs into its own hands. The US commissioned Lincoln MacVeagh, its first ambassador to Iceland on 8 August 1941. MacVeagh presented his credentials to the foreign minister of Iceland on 30 September 1941. His title was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. The US has maintained continuous diplomatic relations with Iceland since then.
Following a plebiscite, Iceland formally became an independent republic on 17 June 1944.
List of ambassadors
|#||Name||Title||Appointment||Presentation of credentials||Termination of mission||Nature of appointment||Nature of termination|
|1||Lincoln MacVeagh||Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary||8 August 1941||30 September 1941||27 June 1942||Political appointee||Left post|
|2||Leland Burnette Morris||Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary||13 August 1942||7 October 1942||10 May 1944||Career FSO||Relinquished charge|
|3||Louis Goethe Dreyfus, Jr.||Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary||21 March 1944||14 June 1944||21 October 1946||Career FSO||Left post|
|4||Richard P. Butrick||Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary||26 February 1948||29 April 1948||10 August 1949||Career FSO||Left post|
|5||Edward B. Lawson||Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary||22 July 1949||22 September 1949||29 May 1954||Career FSO||Left post|
|6||John Joseph Muccio||Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary||23 August 1954||12 October 1954||19 October 1955||Career FSO||Mission title changed|
|Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||19 October 1955||3 November 1955||16 December 1959||Left post|
|7||Tyler Thompson||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||27 January 1960||19 February 1960||16 April 1961||Career FSO||Left post|
|8||James K. Penfield||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||27 April 1961||24 May 1961||16 March 1967||Career FSO||Left post|
|9||Karl Fritjof Rolvaag||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||5 April 1967||9 May 1967||27 March 1969||Political appointee||Left post|
|10||Luther I. Replogle||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||8 July 1969||12 September 1969||15 June 1972||Political appointee||Left post|
|11||Frederick Irving||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||11 September 1972||11 October 1972||21 April 1976||Career FSO||Left post|
|12||James J. Blake||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||1 July 1976||8 September 1976||29 September 1978||Career FSO||Left post|
|13||Richard A. Ericson, Jr.||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||12 October 1978||21 November 1978||15 August 1981||Career FSO||Left post|
|14||Marshall Brement||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||27 July 1981||16 September 1981||1 August 1985||Career FSO||Left post|
|15||L. Nicholas Ruwe||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||12 July 1985||21 August 1985||7 October 1989||Political appointee||Left post|
|16||Charles Elvan Cobb, Jr.||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||10 October 1989||8 November 1989||10 January 1992||Political appointee||Left post|
|17||Sigmund Rogich||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||11 May 1992||4 June 1992||14 October 1993||Political appointee||Left post|
|18||Parker W. Borg||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||8 October 1993||24 November 1993||13 July 1996||Career FSO||Left post|
|19||Day O. Mount||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||11 June 1996||3 September 1996||12 August 1999||Career FSO||Left post|
|20||Barbara J. Griffiths||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||9 August 1999||29 September 1999||29 July 2002||Career FSO||Left post|
|21||James Irvin Gadsden||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||3 October 2002||9 December 2002||14 July 2005||Career FSO||Left post|
|22||Carol van Voorst||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||3 January 2006||26 January 2006||30 April 2009||Career FSO||Left post|
|23||Luis E. Arreaga||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||10 September 2010||20 September 2010||23 November 2013||Career FSO||Left post|
|24||Robert C. Barber||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||2 January 2015||28 January 2015||Incumbent||Political appointee|
U.S. diplomatic terms
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.
A person who is not a career foreign service officer, but is appointed by the president (often as a reward to political friends).
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.
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.
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.
The person in charge of the business of the embassy when there is no ambassador commissioned to the host country. See chargé d'affaires.
Latin phrase meaning "for the time being", "in the meantime". See ad interim.
- United States Department of State: Background notes on Iceland
- 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).