|Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Kingdom
Ambassador of the United States to the Court of St James's
Seal of the United States Department of State
|U.S. Department of State|
Embassy of the United States, London
|Style||His Excellency (formal) |
Mr. Ambassador (informal)
|Reports to||U.S. Secretary of State|
|Seat||London, United Kingdom|
with the advice and consent of the Senate
|Term length||At the pleasure of the President|
No fixed term
|Inaugural holder||John Adams|
as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James's
|Website||U.S. Embassy - London|
The United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom (known formally in the United Kingdom as Ambassador of the United States to the Court of St James's) is the official representative of the President and the Government of the United States of America to the Queen and Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The position is regarded as one of the most prestigious positions in the United States Foreign Service due to the so-called "Special Relationship". The ambassadorship has been held by various notable politicians, including five who would later become presidents: John Adams, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan. However, the modern tendency of American presidents (of both parties) is to appoint keen political fundraisers from previous presidential campaigns, despite the importance and prestige of the office.
The ambassador's main duty is to present U.S. policies to the Government of the United Kingdom and people and to report British policies and views to the federal government of the United States. He serves as a primary channel of communication between the two nations and plays an important role in treaty negotiations.
The ambassador is the head of the United States' consular service in the United Kingdom. As well as directing diplomatic activity in support of trade, he is ultimately responsible for visa services and for the provision of consular support to American citizens in the UK. He also oversees cultural relations between the two countries.
Ambassadors who later became U.S. presidents
- John Adams (1785–1788)
- James Monroe (1803–1807)
- John Quincy Adams (1814–1817)
- Martin Van Buren (1831–1832)
- James Buchanan (1853–1856)
List of U.S. Chiefs of Mission to the Court of St. James
John Adams is referred to as the first "ambassador". He is also referred to as the first "minister plenipotentiary". 'Plenipotentiary' means 'having full power'; a minister that has power to act for their country in all matters.
|John Adams||February 24, 1785||June 1, 1785||February 20, 1788||Congress||Second President of the United States[a]|
|Thomas Pinckney||January 12, 1792||August 9, 1792||July 27, 1796||George Washington|
|Rufus King||May 20, 1796||July 27, 1796||May 16, 1803|
|James Monroe||1803||August 17, 1803||October 7, 1807||Thomas Jefferson||Fifth President of the United States|
|William Pinkney||February 26, 1808||April 27, 1808||May 7, 1811|
|Jonathan Russell||July 27, 1811||November 15, 1811||June 18, 1812||James Madison||[b]|
Diplomatic relations with Great Britain were restored after the War of 1812. The Congress of Vienna (1815) established a uniform system of diplomatic rank. Under that system and highest rank of "ambassador" was a personal representative of a sovereign, and the next rank of "minister", represented a government. As a republic, the United States maintained diplomatic relations with Great Britain at the rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. The rank was colloquially known as Minister, and the position continued to be referred to as "United States Minister to Great Britain."
|John Quincy Adams||April 28, 1814||June 8, 1815||May 14, 1817||James Madison||Sixth President of the United States|
|Richard Rush||1817||February 12, 1818||April 27, 1825||James Monroe|
|Rufus King||May 5, 1825||November 11, 1825||June 16, 1826||John Quincy Adams|
|Albert Gallatin||May 10, 1826||September 1, 1826||October 4, 1827|
|James Barbour||May 23, 1828||November 24, 1828||October 1, 1829|
|Louis McLane||1829||October 12, 1829||June 13, 1831||Andrew Jackson|
|Martin Van Buren||August 8, 1831||September 21, 1831||March 19, 1832||Eighth President of the United States|
|Aaron Vail||July 13, 1832||July 13, 1836||[c]|
|Andrew Stevenson||March 16, 1836||July 13, 1836||October 21, 1841|
|Edward Everett||1841||December 16, 1841||August 8, 1845||William Henry Harrison|
|Louis McLane||1845||August 8, 1845||August 18, 1846||James K. Polk|
|George Bancroft||September 9, 1846||November 12, 1846||August 31, 1849|
|Abbott Lawrence||August 20, 1849||October 20, 1849||October 12, 1852||Zachary Taylor|
|Joseph R. Ingersoll||August 21, 1852||October 16, 1852||August 23, 1853||Millard Fillmore|
|James Buchanan||August 20, 1849||August 23, 1853||March 15, 1856||Franklin Pierce||Fifteenth President of the United States|
|George M. Dallas||February 4, 1856||April 4, 1856||May 16, 1861|
|Charles Francis Adams Sr.||March 20, 1861||May 16, 1861||May 13, 1868||Abraham Lincoln|
|Reverdy Johnson||June 12, 1868||September 14, 1868||May 13, 1869||Andrew Johnson|
|John Lothrop Motley||April 13, 1869||June 18, 1869||December 6, 1870||Ulysses S. Grant|
|Robert C. Schenck||December 22, 1870||June 23, 1871||March 3, 1876|
|Edwards Pierrepont||May 22, 1876||July 11, 1876||December 22, 1877|
|John Welsh||November 9, 1877||December 22, 1877||August 14, 1879||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|James Russell Lowell||January 26, 1880||March 11, 1880||May 19, 1885|
|Edward John Phelps||March 23, 1885||May 19, 1885||January 31, 1889||Grover Cleveland|
|Robert Todd Lincoln||March 30, 1889||May 25, 1889||May 4, 1893||Benjamin Harrison|
Although France became a republic in 1870, the country continued to exchange ambassadors with other Great Powers. In 1893, the United States followed the French precedent and upgraded its relations with other Great Powers to the ambassadorial level. The United States Legation in London became the United States Embassy, and the United States Minister to Great Britain became the United States Ambassador to Great Britain.
|Thomas F. Bayard||1893||June 22, 1893||March 17, 1897||Grover Cleveland|
|John Hay||1897||May 3, 1897||September 12, 1898||William McKinley|
|Joseph Hodges Choate||January 19, 1899||March 6, 1899||May 23, 1905|
|Whitelaw Reid||March 8, 1905||June 5, 1905||December 15, 1912||Theodore Roosevelt||†|
|Walter Hines Page||April 21, 1913||May 30, 1913||October 3, 1918||Woodrow Wilson|
|John W. Davis||November 21, 1918||December 18, 1918||March 9, 1921|
|George Brinton McClellan Harvey||April 16, 1921||May 12, 1921||November 3, 1923||Warren G. Harding|
|Frank B. Kellogg||1924||January 14, 1924||February 10, 1925||Calvin Coolidge|
|Alanson B. Houghton||February 24, 1925||April 27, 1925||March 28, 1929|
|Charles G. Dawes||April 16, 1929||June 15, 1929||December 30, 1931||Herbert Hoover|
|Andrew W. Mellon||February 5, 1932||April 9, 1932||March 17, 1933|
|Robert Worth Bingham||March 23, 1933||May 23, 1933||November 19, 1937||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Joseph P. Kennedy||January 17, 1938||March 8, 1938||October 22, 1940|
|John G. Winant||February 11, 1941||March 1, 1941||April 10, 1946|
|W. Averell Harriman||April 2, 1946||April 30, 1946||October 1, 1946||Harry S. Truman|
|Lewis W. Douglas||March 6, 1947||March 25, 1947||November 16, 1950|
|Walter S. Gifford||December 12, 1950||December 21, 1950||January 23, 1953|
|Winthrop W. Aldrich||February 2, 1953||February 20, 1953||February 1, 1957||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|John Hay Whitney||February 11, 1957||February 28, 1957||January 14, 1961|
|David K. E. Bruce||February 22, 1961||March 17, 1961||March 20, 1969||John F. Kennedy|
|Walter Annenberg||March 14, 1969||April 29, 1969||October 30, 1974||Richard Nixon|
|Elliot Richardson||February 20, 1975||March 21, 1975||January 16, 1976||Gerald Ford|
|Anne Armstrong||January 29, 1976||March 17, 1976||March 3, 1977|
|Kingman Brewster, Jr.||April 29, 1977||June 3, 1977||February 23, 1981||Jimmy Carter|
|John J. Louis, Jr.||May 7, 1981||May 27, 1981||November 7, 1983||Ronald Reagan|
|Charles H. Price II||November 11, 1983||December 20, 1983||February 28, 1989|
|Henry E. Catto, Jr.||April 14, 1989||May 17, 1989||March 13, 1991||George H. W. Bush|
|Raymond G. H. Seitz||April 25, 1991||June 25, 1991||May 10, 1994|
|William J. Crowe, Jr.||May 13, 1994||June 2, 1994||September 20, 1997||Bill Clinton|
|Philip Lader||August 1, 1997||September 22, 1997||February 28, 2001|
|William S. Farish III||July 12, 2001||August 1, 2001||June 11, 2004||George W. Bush|
|Robert H. Tuttle||July 9, 2005||October 19, 2005||February 6, 2009|
|Louis Susman||July 13, 2009||October 13, 2009||April 3, 2013||Barack Obama|
|Matthew Barzun||August 6, 2013||December 4, 2013||January 18, 2017||[d]|
|Woody Johnson||January 19, 2017||November 8, 2017||Incumbent||Donald Trump|||
- Ambassadors of the United States
- British Embassy, Washington, D.C.
- Foreign relations of the United Kingdom
- List of Ambassadors from the United Kingdom to the United States
- United Kingdom – United States relations
Notes and references
- John Adams became so frustrated with his cool reception at the court that he closed the legation in 1788 and the post remained vacant for four years.
- From 1811 to the outbreak of the War of 1812, chargé d'affaires Johnathan Russell was the chief United States officer in London. The United States severed relations with the United Kingdom on the outbreak of the War of 1812 – Normal relations were restored in 1815.
- Chargé d'affaires
- Lewis Lukens became the chargé d'affaires.
- Collier, Peter; Horowitz, David (2002). The Kennedys: An American Drama. p. 6.
- "U.S. envoy: Trump's tweet at U.K. leader "probably misinterpreted"". CBS News. December 12, 2017. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
- "John Adams - U.S. Presidents - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "Eyewitness". www.archives.gov. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "Definition of "Plenipotentiary"". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
- "United Kingdom". Diplomatic History of the United States. U.S. Department of State. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
- Davis, Julie Hirschfeld (January 5, 2017). "In Break With Precedent, Obama Envoys Are Denied Extensions Past Inauguration Day". The New York Times.
- "Biography of Ambassador Matthew W. Barzun". U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- "Who is Woody Johnson, Trump's new ambassador to the UK?". RT International. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
- United States Department of State: Background notes on the United Kingdom
- This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website https://www.state.gov/countries-areas/ (U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets).
- Alison R. Holmes and J. Simon Rofe, The Embassy in Grosvenor Square: American Ambassadors to the United Kingdom, 1938–2008. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.