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United States Ambassador to Armenia


United States Ambassador to Armenia

Ambassador of the United States to Armenia
Միացյալ Նահանգների դեսպանը Հայաստանում
Seal of the United States Department of State
John A. Heffern
as Chargé d’Affaires a.i.

since June 3, 2011
Inaugural holder Harry J. Gilmore
as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Formation May 12, 1993
Website U.S. Embassy - Yerevan

Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on August 23, 1990,[1] having previously been the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the constituent republics of the USSR since 1936, and part of the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic since 1920. In the wake of the August Coup (1991), a referendum was held on the question of secession. Following an overwhelming vote in favor, full independence was declared on September 21, 1991. However, widespread recognition did not occur until the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991. The United States recognized Armenia on December 25, 1991.[2]

The embassy at Yerevan was opened February 3, 1992, with Steven Mann as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim.

The U.S. ambassadorial post to Armenia became vacant on May 24, 2006, when the then-current ambassador Bush administration, purportedly over remarks by Evans concerning the Armenian genocide.[3] On May 23, 2006, and again on January 9, 2007, President Bush nominated Richard E. Hoagland to be the new ambassador to Armenia, but the nomination was delayed in The Senate in a dispute between the Bush administration and Congress over the Armenian genocide issue.[4][5] Rudolf V. Perina, the chargé d'affaires ad interim,[6] served as the chief of the mission until August 1, 2008 when Marie L. Yovanovitch began her term as the ambassador.


  • Ambassadors 1
  • Nomination 2
  • Notes 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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).

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.
  • Harry J. Gilmore[7] – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: May 12, 1993
    • Presented credentials: May 31, 1993
    • Terminated mission: Left post, July 11, 1995
  • Peter Tomsen – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 27, 1995
    • Presented credentials: September 6, 1995
    • Terminated mission: Left post September 6, 1998
  • Michael Craig Lemmon – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 29, 1998
    • Presented credentials: September 21, 1998
    • Terminated mission: Left post October 1, 2001
  • John Malcolm Ordway – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: November 5, 2001
    • Presented credentials: November 23, 2001
    • Terminated mission: Left post July 31, 2004
  • John Marshall Evans – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: June 30, 2004
    • Presented credentials: September 4, 2004
    • Terminated mission: Left post, September 10, 2006
  • Post vacant September 10, 2006 – August 1, 2008
    • Rudolf V. Perina, Chargé d'Affaires a.i.
  • Marie L. Yovanovitch[8] – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: August 1, 2008
    • Presented credentials: unknown
    • Terminated mission: June 3, 2011
  • Bruce Donahue – Career FSO
    • Chargé d'Affaires June 3, 2011 - October 6, 2011
  • John A. Heffern[9] – Career FSO
    • Title: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
    • Appointed: October 6, 2011
    • Presented credentials: October 17, 2011 [10]


John A. Heffern, a career foreign service officer, was nominated by President Obama as the next ambassador on May 19, 2011.[11] After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the nomination, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez placed a hold on the nomination due to disputes with the administration over the use of the word genocide in relation to the Armenian Genocide.[12][13]

The United States Senate confirmed Heffern by unanimous consent on September 26, 2011.[14] He presented his credentials October 17, 2011.


  1. ^ "Armenia Independence". The Government of the Republic of Armenia. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian". U. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Emil Danielyan (May 24, 2006). "U.S. Envoy to Armenia Recalled". Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  4. ^ Yvonne Abraham, Globe Staff (August 30, 2006). "Armenians try to stall appointment of US envoy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  5. ^ "Genocide Issue Blocks Naming Of U.S. Ambassador To Armenia". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. September 13, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  6. ^ United States Embassy in Yerevan. "Embassy Leadership". United States Department of State: U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  7. ^ Gilmore was nominated for the second time by President Clinton on April 2, 1993. An earlier nomination of August 10, 1992 was not acted upon by the Senate.
  8. ^ United States Embassy in Yerevan: The Ambassador
  9. ^ United States Embassy in Yerevan: The Ambassador
  10. ^ Ambassador Heffern Presents Copies of Credentials to Foreign Minister Nalbandian
  11. ^ "Nominations sent to the Senate". United States White House. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  12. ^ "Yerevan ambassador’s appointment delayed".  
  13. ^ "Nomination of Ambassador-Designate John Heffern to serve as next U.S. Ambassador to Armenia held over by Senate Foreign Relations Committee". July 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  14. ^

See also


External links

  • United States Department of State: Chiefs of Mission for Armenia
  • United States Department of State: Armenia
  • United States Embassy in Yerevan
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