United States Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Ambassador of the United States to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Ambassador James Swan.jpg
Incumbent
James C. Swan

since August 6 2013[1]
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder Clare H. Timberlake
as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Formation July 5, 1960
Website U.S. Embassy - Kinshasa

This is a list of Ambassadors of the United States to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

From 1877 until 1960, the republic had been a colony of Belgium, first under the name Congo Free State and then Belgian Congo.

The Congo was granted its independence on June 30, 1960, adopting the name “Republic of the Congo” (République du Congo). As the French colony of Middle Congo (Moyen-Congo) also chose the name Republic of Congo upon receiving its independence, the two countries were more commonly known as Congo-Léopoldville and Congo-Brazzaville, after their capital cities.

The United States immediately recognized the new Republic of the Congo and moved to establish diplomatic relations. The embassy in Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) was established on June 30, 1960, with John D. Tomlinson as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim. The first ambassador, Clare H. Timberlake was appointed on July 5, 1960.

In 1971, President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu changed the country’s official name to Zaire.

In 1997, President Laurent Kabila restored the name "Democratic Republic of the Congo", previously used from 1964 to 1971.

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.
  • Clare H. Timberlake – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 5, 1960
    • Presented credentials: July 25, 1960
    • Terminated mission: Left post, June 15, 1961
  • Edmund A. Gullion – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 3, 1961
    • Presented credentials: September 11, 1961
    • Terminated mission: Left post, February 20, 1964
  • G. McMurtrie Godley – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 20, 1964
    • Presented credentials: March 23, 1964
    • Terminated mission: Left post, October 15, 1966
  • Robert H. McBride – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 10, 1967
    • Presented credentials: June 29, 1967
    • Terminated mission: Left post, May 16, 1969
  • Sheldon B. Vance – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 27, 1969
    • Presented credentials: June 28, 1969
    • Terminated mission: Left post, March 26, 1974
  • Deane R. Hinton – Career FSO[2]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 20, 1974
    • Presented credentials: August 21, 1974
    • Terminated mission: Left post, June 21, 1975
  • Walter L. Cutler – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 20, 1975
    • Presented credentials: December 23, 1975
    • Terminated mission: Left post, May 9, 1979
  • Robert B. Oakley – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 6, 1979
    • Presented credentials: November 28, 1979
    • Terminated mission: Left post, August 22, 1982
  • Peter Dalton Constable – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 30, 1982
    • Presented credentials: October 18, 1982
    • Terminated mission: Left post, August 31, 1984
  • Brandon Hambright Grove, Jr. – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 13, 1984
    • Presented credentials: September 18, 1984
    • Terminated mission: Left post, September 18, 1987
  • William Caldwell Harrop – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 18, 1987
    • Presented credentials: January 28, 1988
    • Terminated mission: Left post, May 18, 1991
  • Melissa Foelsch Wells – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 25, 1991
    • Presented credentials: June 11, 1991
    • Terminated mission: Left post, March 21, 1992
  • Note: The post was vacant March 1992–November 1995. During that period John M. Yates served as chargé d'affaires ad interim March 1992–September 1995; Roger A. Meece served September–November 1995.
  • Daniel H. Simpson – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 3, 1995
    • Presented credentials: November 23, 1995
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 11, 1998
  • William Lacy Swing – Career FSO[3]
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 11, 1998
    • Presented credentials: October 13, 1998
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 11, 2001
  • Aubrey Hooks – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 12, 2001
    • Presented credentials: September 4, 2001
    • Terminated mission: April 17, 2004
  • Roger A. Meece – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 14, 2004
    • Presented credentials: August 3, 2004
    • Terminated mission: August 14, 2007
  • William J. Garvelink – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 2, 2007
    • Presented credentials: November 29, 2007
    • Terminated mission: 2010
  • Samuel C. Laeuchli - Career FSO
    • Title: Chargé d'Affaires ad interim
    • Appointed: August 2010
    • Presented credentials: Unknown
    • Terminated mission: Unknown
  • James F. Entwistle - Career FSO
    • Appointed: August 8, 2010
    • Oath of Office: August 23, 2010
    • Presented credentials: November 4, 2010
    • Terminated mission: Unknown
  • James C. Swan - Career FSO
    • Appointed: August 6, 2013
    • Oath of Office: September 5, 2013
    • Presented credentials: November 1, 2013
    • Terminated mission: Incumbent

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://kinshasa.usembassy.gov/ambassador.html
  2. ^ Hinton was declared persona non grata by the Government of Zaire on June 18, 1975 and he left the country three days later.
  3. ^ Swing was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned following confirmation on March 25, 1999.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]