United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

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Ambassador of the United States to Saudi Arabia
سفارة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية في المملكة العربية السعودية
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Official Photo of Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal.jpg
Incumbent
Joseph W. Westphal

since March 2014
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder Bert Fish
as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Formation Aug 7, 1939
Website U.S. Embassy - Riyadh

The United States recognized the government of King Ibn Saud in 1931, but it was not until 1939 when it appointed its first U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bert Fish, then resident in Cairo and ambassador to Egypt. Fish made one trip down to Jidda in 1940 to meet the King and present his credentials, but it was not until after his mission was terminated that a legation was established there on May 1, 1942. The current U.S. ambassador is Air Force general James B. Smith, who was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama.

Ambassadors[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.
  • Bert Fish[1] - Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Aug 7, 1939
    • Presentation of Credentials: Feb 4, 1940
    • Termination of Mission: Left Cairo Feb 28, 1941

Note: After Fish had withdrawn but before Kirk presented credentials as non-resident Minister, the Legation in Jidda was established on May 1, 1942, with James S. Moose, Jr., as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.

  • Alexander C. Kirk[2] - Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Feb 21, 1941
    • Presentation of Credentials: May 11, 1942
    • Termination of Mission: Superseded Jul 18, 1943
  • James S. Moose, Jr. - Career FSO
    • Title: Minister Resident/Foreign Service officer
    • Appointment: Jun 4, 1943
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jul 18, 1943
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 18, 1944
  • William A. Eddy - Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Aug 12, 1944
    • Presentation of Credentials: Sep 23, 1944
    • Termination of Mission: Left post May 28, 1946
  • J. Rives Childs[3] - Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Apr 27, 1946
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jun 29, 1946
    • Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
  • J. Rives Childs[4] - Career FS)
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Mar 2, 1949
    • Presentation of Credentials: Mar 18, 1949
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 21, 1950
  • Raymond A. Hare[5] - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Sep 20, 1950
    • Presentation of Credentials: Oct 24, 1950
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 8, 1953
  • George Wadsworth[6][7] - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Oct 21, 1953
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jan 9, 1954
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 1, 1958
  • Donald R. Heath[8] - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Nov 27, 1957
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jan 9, 1958
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 18, 1961
  • Parker T. Hart[9] - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Apr 6, 1961
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jul 22, 1961
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, May 29, 1965
  • Hermann F. Eilts - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Oct 20, 1965
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jan 15, 1966
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 23, 1970
  • Nicholas G. Thacher - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Sep 8, 1970
    • Presentation of Credentials: Sep 22, 1970
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 19, 1973
  • James E. Akins - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Sep 20, 1973
    • Presentation of Credentials: Nov 7, 1973
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 10, 1975
  • William J. Porter - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Dec 22, 1975
    • Presentation of Credentials: Feb 21, 1976
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, May 27, 1977
  • John C. West - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Jun 8, 1977
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jun 29, 1977
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 21, 1981
  • Robert Gerhard Neumann - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: May 20, 1981
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jun 22, 1981
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 16, 1981
  • Richard W. Murphy[11] - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Aug 19, 1981
    • Presentation of Credentials: Aug 29, 1981
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 21, 1983
  • Walter Leon Cutler - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Feb 10, 1984
    • Presentation of Credentials: Mar 31, 1984
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 22, 1987

Note: On Sep 26, 1984, the U.S. Liaison Office in Riyadh was raised to the rank of embassy while the embassy in Jeddah became a consulate.

  • Hume Alexander Horan - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Jul 2, 1987
    • Presentation of Credentials: Sep 22, 1987
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 22, 1988
  • Walter Leon Cutler - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Jul 15, 1988
    • Presentation of Credentials: Aug 17, 1988
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 30, 1989
  • Charles W. Freeman, Jr. - Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Jun 15, 1989
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jan 14, 1990
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 13, 1992

Note: C. David Welch served as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Aug 1992-Aug 1994.

  • Raymond Edwin Mabus, Jr. - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Jul 5, 1994
    • Presentation of Credentials: Aug 1, 1994
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 25, 1996
  • Wyche Fowler, Jr.[13] - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Aug 9, 1996
    • Presentation of Credentials: Sep 14, 1996
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Mar 1, 2001
  • Robert W. Jordan - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Oct 5, 2001
    • Presentation of Credentials: Jun 30, 2002
    • Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 13, 2003
  • James C. Oberwetter - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Dec 11, 2003
    • Presentation of Credentials: Oct 10, 2004
    • Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 31, 2007
  • Ford M. Fraker[14] - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: Mar 30, 2007
    • Presentation of Credentials: Sep 2, 2007
    • Termination of Mission: 2009
  • James B. Smith - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: September 16, 2009
    • Presentation of Credentials: Unknown
    • Termination of Mission: September 27, 2013
  • Joseph W. Westphal - Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointment: TBD
    • Presentation of Credentials: Unknown
    • Termination of Mission: Incumbent

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also accredited to Egypt; resident at Cairo.
  2. ^ Also accredited to Egypt and to the Government of Greece established in Egypt; resident at Cairo.
  3. ^ Also accredited to Yemen; resident at Jidda.
  4. ^ Also accredited to Yemen; resident at Jidda.
  5. ^ Also accredited to Yemen; resident at Jidda.
  6. ^ Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 26, 1954.
  7. ^ Also accredited to Yemen; resident at Jidda.
  8. ^ Also commissioned to Yemen, but did not present credentials in that country. Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 27, 1958.
  9. ^ Also commissioned to Kuwait and Yemen; resident at Jidda.
  10. ^ Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.
  11. ^ Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Sep 29, 1981.
  12. ^ Nomination of Jun 3, 1992 was not acted on by the Senate.
  13. ^ Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Oct 31, 1997.
  14. ^ Had presented his credentials to the Foreign Minister, May 5, 2007.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]