Washington, DC — An American career diplomat, named by AllAfrica recently as the new administration's most likely pick as its top Africa official, has been nominated as U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. The White House announced the nomination of Ambassador Johnnie Carson Friday. The full text of the White House announcement:
President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, State Department.
Ambassador Johnnie Carson is currently the National Intelligence Officer for Africa on the National Intelligence Council. He joined the NIC in September 2006 after a 37-year career in the Foreign Service. Prior to this appointment, Carson served as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington D.C. (2003-2006).
Carson's 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, Botswana, Mozambique, and Nigeria. He has also served as desk officer in the Africa section at State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Staff Officer for the Secretary of State (1978-1979), and Staff Director for the Africa Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives (1979-1982).
Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. 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 US Government's HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya.