Johnnie Carson

Senior Advisor to the President

Ambassador Johnnie Carson was sworn in as assistant secretary of state for the bureau of African affairs, on May 7, 2009. Prior to this he was the national intelligence officer for Africa at the National Intelligence Council, after serving as the senior vice president of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. (2003-2006).

Carson's 37-year foreign service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997), and Uganda (1991-1994); and principal deputy assistant secretary for the bureau of African Affairs (1997-1999). Earlier in his career he had assignments in Portugal (1982-1986), Botswana (1986-1990), Mozambique (1975-1978), and Nigeria (1969-1971). He has also served as desk officer in the Africa section at State's bureau of intelligence and research (1971-1974); staff officer for the secretary of state (1978-1979), and staff director for the Africa Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives (1979-1982).

Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-1968. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Drake University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies at the University of London.

Ambassador Carson is the recipient of several Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State and a Meritorious Service Award from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The Centers for Disease Control presented Ambassador Carson its highest award, "Champion of Prevention Award," for his leadership in directing the U.S. Government's HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya.

Articles & Analysis from this Expert

July 22, 2015

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said his new government will “do what it takes” to defeat the extremist violence of Boko Haram, and he bluntly called on the U.S. to ease its restrictions on providing the weapons that his military needs to prevail in the fight. In an address at the U.S. Institute of Peace today, he also reaffirmed “zero tolerance” for corruption and pledged to restore trust in the country’s governance.

In the News

September 24, 2015

US leaders have showered praise on President Jakaya Kikwete for preserving democracy, respect for human rights and upholding the constitution during his tenure in office. Above all, leaders from both the government and international institutions hailed ...

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