List of ambassadors of the United States to France

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Ambassador of the United States of America to France
Ambassadeur des États-Unis en France
U.S. Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Jamie D. McCourt.jpg
Incumbent
Jamie McCourt

since December 18, 2017
ResidenceHôtel de Pontalba
NominatorThe President of the United States
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Inaugural holderBenjamin Franklin
as Envoy
Formation1778
WebsiteU.S. Embassy – Paris

The United States Ambassador to France is the official representative of the President of the United States to the President of France. The United States has maintained diplomatic relations with France since the American Revolution. Relations were upgraded to the higher rank of Ambassador in 1893. The diplomatic relationship has continued through France's five republics, two empires, and three monarchies. Since 2006 the ambassador to France has also served as the ambassador to Monaco.

List of United States Chiefs of Mission in France[edit]

Ministers to the Court of Versailles (1778–1792)[edit]

Relations between the United States and the French Court of Versailles were established in 1778 with the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. As a republic, the United States was not entitled to send an ambassador. Instead, relations were maintained at the lower diplomatic rank of Minister. The position was formally known as the Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin September 14, 1778 March 23, 1779 May 17, 1785
Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale 1805 cropped.jpg Thomas Jefferson March 10, 1785 May 17, 1785 September 26, 1789
Portrait of William Short.jpg William Short April 20, 1790 June 14, 1790 May 15, 1792
Gouverneur Morris.jpg Gouverneur Morris January 12, 1792 June 3, 1792 April 9, 1794 Remained as Minister after the First Republic was proclaimed. Mission terminated when the French government requested his recall.

Ministers to the First Republic (1792–1804)[edit]

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
James Monroe James Monroe May 28, 1794 August 15, 1794 December 9, 1796
CharlesCPinckney crop.jpg Charles C. Pinckney September 9, 1796 Not presented February 5, 1797

Diplomatic relations were broken in 1796 due to French anger at U.S. neutrality in the War of the First Coalition. After the Directory refused to accept Charles Cotesworth Pinckney's credentials, a commission was appointed to negotiate with the French Republic. The members of the commission — Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry — were all accredited with the rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.[1] French officials demanded a bribe before they would commence negotiations, scuttling the mission in the XYZ Affair. Hostilities culminated in the outbreak of the Quasi-War between the U.S. and France. Diplomatic relations were restored with the Convention of 1800.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Robert R Livingston, attributed to Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828).jpg Robert R. Livingston October 2, 1801 December 6, 1801 November 18, 1804 Remained as Minister after Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed emperor.

James Monroe was accredited Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Republic in 1803 to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.[2] However, Robert Livingston remained chief of mission.

Ministers to the Court of the Tuilleries (1804–1848)[edit]

Since Versailles was in poor condition, Napoleon I returned the French court to its pre-1682 home at the Tuilleries. U.S. ministers to all future French monarchs would be accredited to the Tuilleries. After the Congress of Vienna standardized the system of diplomatic ranks, the United States Minister continued to send a Minister, who was officially credentialed as an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
John Armstrong Jr Rembrandt Peale.jpg John Armstrong June 30, 1804 November 18, 1804 September 14, 1810
Joel Barlow - Project Gutenberg eText 13220.png Joel Barlow February 27, 1811 November 17, 1811 December 26, 1812 Died in Żarnowiec during the French retreat from Moscow.
WilliamHCrawford.jpg William H. Crawford April 9, 1813 December 14, 1813
August 16, 1814
April 26, 1815 to April 30, 1815
AlbertGallatin.jpeg Albert Gallatin February 28, 1815 July 16, 1816 May 16, 1823
Senator James Brown of Louisiana (1766-1835).jpg James Brown December 9, 1823 April 13, 1824 June 28, 1829
WilliamCRives.png William Cabell Rives April 18, 1829 October 25, 1829
January 14, 1831
September 27, 1832
Edward Livingston, U.S. Secretary of State.jpg Edward Livingston May 29, 1833 September 30, 1833 April 29, 1835
LewisCass.png Lewis Cass October 4, 1836 December 1, 1836 November 12, 1842
William Rufus DeVane King 1839 portrait.jpg William R. King April 9, 1844 July 1, 1844 September 15, 1846
Richard Rush engraving.png Richard Rush March 3, 1847 July 31, 1847
April 26, 1848
October 8, 1849 Reaccredited to the Second Republic.

Ministers to the Second Republic (1848–1852)[edit]

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
WilliamCRives.png William Cabell Rives July 20, 1849 November 8, 1849
January 10, 1853
May 12, 1853 Reaccredited to the Second Empire.

Ministers to the Court of the Tuilleries (1852–1870)[edit]

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
JYMason.jpg John Y. Mason October 10, 1853 January 22, 1854 October 3, 1859 Died at post.
Charles J. Faulkner 1806-1884 - Brady-Handy.jpg Charles J. Faulkner January 16, 1860 March 4, 1860 May 12, 1861 Sided with the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
William L. Dayton.jpg William L. Dayton March 18, 1861 May 19, 1861 December 1, 1864 Died at post.
John Bigelow - Brady-Handy.jpg John Bigelow March 15, 1865 April 23, 1865 December 23, 1866
JADix-Sarony.jpg John Adams Dix September 24, 1866 December 23, 1866 May 23, 1869
Elihu B. Washburne seated - Brady-Handy.png Elihu B. Washburne March 17, 1869 March 23, 1869
May 8, 1871
September 5, 1877 Reaccredited to the Third Republic.

Ministers to the Third Republic (1870–1893)[edit]

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Edward Follansbee Noyes at statehouse.jpg Edward F. Noyes July 1, 1877 September 5, 1877 August 5, 1881
Levi Morton - Brady-Handy portrait - standard crop.jpg Levi P. Morton March 21, 1881 August 5, 1881 May 14, 1885
Governor robert mclane of maryland.jpg Robert M. McLane March 23, 1885 May 14, 1885 May 20, 1889
Whitelaw Reid.jpg Whitelaw Reid March 23, 1889 May 21, 1889 March 25, 1892
Thomas Jefferson Coolidge (cropped).png T. Jefferson Coolidge May 12, 1892 June 10, 1892 May 4, 1893

Ambassadors to the Third Republic (1893–1942)[edit]

After it became a republic, France continued to exchange ambassadors with other Great Powers. This put an end to the longstanding rule that only Great Power monarchies could exchange ambassadors with each other. As the United States grew in population and economic strength, it followed the French example. In 1893, the United States upgraded its diplomatic relations with the other Great Powers to the ambassadorial level.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
JamesBEustis.jpg James B. Eustis April 8, 1893 May 6, 1893 May 24, 1897
Horace Porter - Brady-Handy.jpg Horace Porter March 19, 1897 May 26, 1897 May 2, 1905
Robert Sanderson McCormick.jpg Robert S. McCormick March 8, 1905 May 2, 1905 March 2, 1907
Henry White cph.3a36597.jpg Henry White December 19, 1906 March 23, 1907 November 3, 1909
Bacon, Robert.jpg Robert Bacon December 21, 1909 December 31, 1909 April 19, 1912
Myron T. Herrick 003.jpg Myron T. Herrick February 15, 1912 April 29, 1912 November 28, 1914
William Graves Sharp.png William Graves Sharp June 19, 1914 December 4, 1914 April 14, 1919
Hugh Campbell Wallace in 1919.jpg Hugh Campbell Wallace February 27, 1919 April 22, 1919 July 5, 1921
Myron T. Herrick 003.jpg Myron T. Herrick April 16, 1921 July 15, 1921 March 31, 1929 Died at post.
Walteredge.jpg Walter Evans Edge November 21, 1929 December 18, 1929 April 13, 1933
Jesse Straus 1933.jpg Jesse I. Straus March 17, 1933 June 8, 1933 August 5, 1936
William C Bullitt.jpg William C. Bullitt Jr. August 25, 1936 October 13, 1936 July 11, 1940
Fleet Admiral Leahy.tif William D. Leahy November 29, 1940 January 8, 1941 May 1, 1942 Departed Vichy France; S. Pinkney Tuck served as interim chargé d'affaires until France severed diplomatic relations with the U.S. on November 8, 1942.

Ambassadors to the Fourth Republic (1944–1961)[edit]

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
No image.svg Jefferson Caffery November 25, 1944 December 30, 1944 May 13, 1949 The Embassy in Paris had been opened to the public December 1, 1944, with Ambassador Caffery in charge pending presentation of his letter of credence.
David K. E. Bruce.jpg David K. E. Bruce May 9, 1949 May 17, 1949 March 10, 1952
James Clement Dunn 1921.jpg James Clement Dunn March 13, 1952 March 27, 1952 March 2, 1953
C Douglas Dillon (cropped).jpg C. Douglas Dillon February 27, 1953 March 13, 1953 January 28, 1957
No image.svg Amory Houghton March 14, 1957 April 17, 1957 January 19, 1961

Ambassadors to the Fifth Republic (1961–present)[edit]

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
JamesMGavin(LTG).jpeg James M. Gavin February 22, 1961 March 21, 1961 September 26, 1962
Charles Bohlen.png Charles E. Bohlen September 4, 1962 October 27, 1962 February 9, 1968
Sargent Shriver 1961.jpg Sargent Shriver April 22, 1968 May 25, 1968 March 25, 1970
No image.svg Arthur K. Watson April 8, 1970 May 6, 1970 October 30, 1972
John N. Irwin, II.jpg John N. Irwin II February 2, 1973 March 23, 1973 October 20, 1974
Kenneth-Rush-1977.jpg Kenneth Rush September 19, 1974 November 21, 1974 March 14, 1977
ArthurAHartman.jpg Arthur A. Hartman June 8, 1977 July 7, 1977 October 14, 1981
No image.svg Evan G. Galbraith November 6, 1981 December 2, 1981 July 15, 1985
No image.svg Joe M. Rodgers July 19, 1985 September 20, 1985 January 8, 1989
No image.svg Walter Curley May 12, 1989 July 6, 1989 February 11, 1993
No image.svg Pamela Harriman May 8, 1993 June 30, 1993 February 5, 1997 Died at post.
No image.svg Felix Rohatyn August 1, 1997 September 11, 1997 December 7, 2000
Leachhh0202p.jpg Howard H. Leach July 12, 2001 September 4, 2001 April 16, 2005
Craig Roberts Stapleton.jpg Craig Roberts Stapleton June 21, 2005 July 25, 2005 January 29, 2009 Also accredited to Monaco.
AmbassadorCharlesHRivkin.jpg Charles Rivkin June 1, 2009 October 2, 2009 November 20, 2013 Also accredited to Monaco.
JaneDHartley.jpg Jane D. Hartley September 26, 2014 October 31, 2014 January 29, 2017 Also accredited to Monaco.
Jamie D. McCourt.jpg Jamie McCourt November 20, 2017 December 18, 2017 Incumbent Also accredited to Monaco.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth; Gerry, Elbridge; Marshall, John (1798). Authentic Copies of the Correspondence of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry, Esqrs. Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to the Republic of France: As Presented to Both Houses of Congress, April 3, 1798, by His Excellency John Adams. J. Derrett. p. 62. The undersigned Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the French Republic, had the honour of announcing to you officially, on the 6th of October, their arrival at Paris, and of presenting to you on the 8th, a copy of their letters of credence.
  2. ^ "Image 906 of James Monroe Papers: Series 1, General Correspondence, 1758-1839; 1796 Mar. 22-1803 Oct. 8 (Reel 2)". The Library of Congress.

 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).

Further reading[edit]

  • Willson, Beckles. America's Ambassadors to France (1777-1927): A Narrative of Franco-American Diplomatic Relations (1928).

External links[edit]