Johnnie Carson (diplomat)

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Ambassador Johnnie Carson became U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for 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). He is a career Foreign Service Officer.

He has been U.S. Ambassador to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997) and Uganda (1991-1994); he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs between 1997 and 1999.

Before being appointed Ambassador, he served in Portugal (1982-1986), Botswana (1986-1990), Mozambique (1975-1978), and Nigeria (1969-1971). He was a 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 House Committee on Foreign Affairs (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.

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.