Ambassador (ret.) Johnnie Carson
Ambassador Johnnie Carson is a former Foreign Service officer and currently serves as a Senior Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Prior to joining USIP, Ambassador Carson served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2009 to 2013.
Ambassador Carson's 37-year 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 (1982-1986), Botswana (1986-1990), Mozambique (1975-1978), and Nigeria (1969-1971). He has also served as 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 U.S. House of Representatives (1979-1982).
Ambassador Carson has also served as the National Intelligence Officer for Africa at the National Intelligence Council and as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. (2003-2006).
Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-1968. He has a bachelor's in history and political science from Drake University and a master's 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 and another from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Centers for Disease Control presented him with its highest award, "Champion of Prevention Award," for his leadership in directing the U.S. Government's HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya. Ambassador Carson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Democratic Institute. He also serves a Senior Advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group.