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United States Ambassador to South Africa

United States Ambassador to South Africa

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Before 1902, The southern part of Africa that is now South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 was under the hegemony of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

. There also were two self-proclaimed independent states: Transvaal (also known as the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

) and the Orange Free State
Orange Free State
The Orange Free State was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, and later a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province...

. The British and the Boer
Boer
Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State,...

s fought two wars known as the First Boer War
First Boer War
The First Boer War also known as the First Anglo-Boer War or the Transvaal War, was fought from 16 December 1880 until 23 March 1881-1877 annexation:...

 (1880–1881) and the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 (1899–1902). After the second war, in which the British prevailed, the republics were incorporated into the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. On May 31, 1910, the two ex-republics and the British colonies of the Cape
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

 and Natal
Colony of Natal
The Colony of Natal was a British colony in south-eastern Africa. It was proclaimed a British colony on May 4, 1843 after the British government had annexed the Boer Republic of Natalia, and on 31 May 1910 combined with three other colonies to form the Union of South Africa, as one of its...

 formed the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

, a self-governing dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

 of the British Empire.

The United States appointed its first ambassador to South Africa, Ralph J. Totten, in 1929. He was appointed as Minister Resident/Consul General and promoted to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary the following year.

South Africa was renamed the Republic of South Africa on May 31, 1961 after links to the British crown were severed.

Ambassadors


  • Note: The ambassadors were commissioned to the Union of South Africa until 1961 when South Africa became a republic.
  • Ralph J. Totten – Career FSO
    • Title: Minister Resident/Consul General
    • Appointed: December 19, 1929
    • Presented credentials: February 18, 1930
    • Terminated mission: June 20, 1930
  • Ralph J. Totten – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 20, 1930
    • Presented credentials: September 8, 1930
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 12, 1937
  • Leo J. Keena
    Leo J. Keena
    Leo Japathet Keena was an American football player and diplomat. Keena was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1878, the son of James T. Keena and Henrietta Keena. His father was a lawyer who later became the president of the Peoples State Bank of Detroit...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 31, 1937
    • Presented credentials: October 22, 1937
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 13, 1942
  • Lincoln MacVeagh
    Lincoln MacVeagh
    Lincoln MacVeagh was a distinguished United States soldier, diplomat, businessman, and archaeologist. He served a long career as the United States ambassador to several countries during difficult times.-MacVeagh family:...

     – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 21, 1942
    • Presented credentials: October 21, 1942
    • Terminated mission: Left post November 21, 1943
  • Thomas Holcomb
    Thomas Holcomb
    General Thomas Holcomb was the seventeenth Commandant of the United States Marine Corps . He was the first Marine to achieve the rank of General. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Holcomb served as Minister to South Africa .-Early years:Holcomb was born on August 5, 1879 in New Castle, Delaware...

     – Political appointee
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 21, 1944
    • Presented credentials: June 14, 1944
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 30, 1948
  • North Winship – Career FSO
    • Title: Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 24, 1948
    • Presented credentials: June 11, 1948
    • Terminated mission: March 2, 1949
  • Note: The title of the office was changed to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on March 2, 1949.
  • North Winship – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 2, 1949
    • Presented credentials: March 23, 1949
    • Terminated mission: Left South Africa, December 20, 1949
  • John G. Erhardt – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 23, 1950
    • Presented credentials: October 4, 1950
    • Terminated mission: Died at Cape Town
      Cape Town
      Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

      , February 18, 1951
  • WaldeMarch J. Gallman – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 22, 1951
    • Presented credentials: October 18, 1951
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 15, 1954
  • Edward T. Wailes
    Edward T. Wailes
    Edward Thompson Wailes was a United States diplomat.-Biography:Edward T. Wailes was born in Brooklyn on February 16, 1903. He was educated at Princeton University, receiving a B.A. in 1925 and Columbia Law School, graduating in 1927....

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: September 15, 1954
    • Presented credentials: November 29, 1954
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 11, 1956
  • Henry A. Byroade
    Henry A. Byroade
    Brigadier General Henry Alfred Byroade, United States Army of Indiana was a career diplomat who served as Ambassador to Egypt in 1955 and 1956 and later to five other countries, including United States Ambassador to Burma from September 1963 to June 1968, and served as Assistant Secretary of State...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 26, 1956
    • Presented credentials: October 9, 1956
    • Terminated mission: Left post January 24, 1959
  • Philip K. Crowe – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: February 16, 1959
    • Presented credentials: April 22, 1959
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 6, 1961
  • Joseph C. Satterthwaite
    Joseph C. Satterthwaite
    Joseph Charles Satterthwaite of Michigan was a career diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Head of the U.S. Legation at Tangier from 1953 to 1955, and as United States Ambassador to Burma from April 1955 to April 1957. He then served as the first Assistant Secretary of...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: April 6, 1961
    • Presented credentials: May 22, 1961
    • Terminated mission: May 31, 1961
  • Note: South Africa became a republic on May 31, 1961. This required a new commission for the ambassador. Hereafter ambassadors were commissioned to the Republic of South Africa.
  • Joseph C. Satterthwaite
    Joseph C. Satterthwaite
    Joseph Charles Satterthwaite of Michigan was a career diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Head of the U.S. Legation at Tangier from 1953 to 1955, and as United States Ambassador to Burma from April 1955 to April 1957. He then served as the first Assistant Secretary of...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 31, 1961
    • Presented credentials: May 31, 1961
    • Terminated mission: Left post November 17, 1965
  • William M. Rountree
    William M. Rountree
    William Manning Rountree was born in Swainsboro, Georgia. After graduating from high school in 1935 he got a job with the United States Department of the Treasury where he held various clerical and accounting positions...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 20, 1965
    • Presented credentials: January 8, 1966
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 5, 1970
  • John G. Hurd – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 24, 1970
    • Presented credentials: September 10, 1970
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 7, 1975
  • William G. Bowdler
    William G. Bowdler
    -Biography:William G. Bowdler was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 27, 1924. He later immigrated to Florida, and served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1946. He became a U.S. citizen in 1945. He was educated at the University of Richmond, receiving a B.A. in History in 1948. He...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 17, 1975
    • Presented credentials: May 14, 1975
    • Terminated mission: Left post April 19, 1978
  • William B. Edmondson
    William B. Edmondson
    William B. Edmondson is a retired career officer in the United States Foreign Service, who served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Republic of South Africa from 1978-1981.-Biography:...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 3, 1978
    • Presented credentials: June 5, 1978
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 22, 1981
  • Herman W. Nickel
    Herman W. Nickel
    Herman W. Nickel was United States Ambassador to South Africa during the Reagan administration. He was born in Berlin, Germany. Abitur, Dahlem ; A.B., Union College, Schenectady, NY, 1951; LLB, Syracuse University College of Law.President Reagan announced his intention to nominate Nickel for the...

     – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: March 29, 1982
    • Presented credentials: April 20, 1982
    • Terminated mission: Left post October 4, 1986
  • Edward Joseph Perkins – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 16, 1986
    • Presented credentials: November 27, 1986
    • Terminated mission: Left post May 22, 1989
  • William Lacy Swing – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 7, 1989
    • Presented credentials: September 8, 1989
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 5, 1992
  • Princeton N. Lyman
    Princeton N. Lyman
    Princeton Nathan Lyman is a diplomat and former United States Ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa , and former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 14, 1992
    • Presented credentials: September 21, 1992
    • Terminated mission: Left post December 14, 1995
  • James A. Joseph
    James A. Joseph
    James A. Joseph is a former American diplomat.Joseph is Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Studies at Duke University and founder of the United States – Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke and the University of Cape Town. He has served four U.S. Presidents...

     – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: December 19, 1995
    • Presented credentials: February 27, 1996
    • Terminated mission: Left post November 7, 1999
  • Delano Lewis
    Delano Lewis
    Delano Eugene Lewis is an American attorney, businessman, and diplomat. He was the ambassador to South Africa from 1999 to 2001, and previously held leadership roles with the Peace Corps, National Public Radio, and the U.S...

     – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 16, 1999
    • Presented credentials: January 21, 2000
    • Terminated mission: Left post June 22, 2001
  • Cameron R. Hume
    Cameron R. Hume
    Cameron R. Hume is the United States Ambassador to Indonesia. He presented his credentials on August 1, 2007.Hume is a member of the United States Foreign Service, rank of Career Minister. His earlier assignments included Italy, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, the United Nations, and the Holy See...

     – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 5, 2001
    • Presented credentials: November 29, 2001
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 28, 2004
  • Jendayi Elizabeth Frazer – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 25, 2004
    • Presented credentials: August 10, 2004
    • Terminated mission: Left post August 26, 2005
  • Eric M. Bost
    Eric M. Bost
    Eric M. Bost is the former United States Ambassador to South Africa. He was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa by President George W. Bush on July 20, 2006 after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador on June 29. Ambassador Bost presented his credentials to South...

     – Political appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 20, 2006
    • Presented credentials: August 15, 2006
    • Terminated mission: January 20, 2009
  • Donald Gips
    Donald Gips
    Donald H. Gips, born in 1960, was the Divisional Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development for Level 3 Communications. and Director of Mindspeed Technologies, Incorporated. He was also on the advisory board for President Barack Obama's presidential transition team.In the late 1990s Gips...

     - Political Appointee
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: July 7, 2009
    • Presented credentials: October 1, 2009
    • Terminated Mission: Incumbent

See also

  • Embassy of South Africa, Washington, D.C.
  • South Africa – United States relations
  • Foreign relations of South Africa
    Foreign relations of South Africa
    The foreign relations of South Africa have spanned from the country's time as Dominion and later Realm of the British Empire to its isolationist policies under Apartheid to its position as a responsible international actor taking a key role in Africa....

  • Ambassadors of the United States

External links