For Immediate Release: May 24, 2013
Contact: Steven Ruder, 202-429-3825

(Washington) – The United States Institute of Peace announced today that Ambassador Johnnie Carson has joined USIP as a senior advisor. Carson stepped down as assistant secretary of state for the bureau of African affairs on March 29, 2013. His work at USIP will continue his focus on African issues and will look at new challenges to Africa’s stability and growth, peacekeeping operations, democracy promotion, and conflict prevention and resolution methods.

“For years, the challenges and opportunities of sub-Saharan Africa have been a focus for both USIP and Ambassador Carson,” USIP President Jim Marshall said in announcing Carson’s appointment. “I’m delighted we will now be working arm in arm on these issues.”

Before being named assistant secretary in 2009, Carson was the national intelligence officer for Africa at the National Intelligence Council from 2006-2009 and senior vice president of the National Defense University from 2003-2006.

His distinguished Foreign Service career spanned four decades and included ambassadorships to Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. He was also principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the bureau of African affairs and had earlier assignments in Botswana, Portugal, Mozambique, and Nigeria. He also served as desk officer in the Africa section at the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research, staff officer for the secretary of state, and staff director for the Africa subcommittee of the  House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Ambassador Carson not only brings strong contacts and relationships across Africa, he also brings them from across the street in the State Department,” said Marshall. “He will unquestionably augment relationships important to USIP’s mission and America’s interests.”

Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-1968. He has a bachelor of arts degree in history and political science from Drake University and a master’s degree in International Relations from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies at the University of London.


The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict through nonviolent means. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance national security. USIP is headquartered in Washington, DC. To learn more, visit

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