This biography is no longer current; at present, no other official Department of State biographical information is available.
Donald C. Johnson was sworn in on October 16, 2006 as U.S. Amabassor to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. On September 15, 2006, the Senate confirmed him as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. From the fall of 2005 until June 2006, Ambassador Johnson worked in the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States, leading the U.S. team in the negotiations for a Social Charter of the Americas. From 2002 to 2005 he served as U.S. Ambassador to Cape Verde. During his service, Cape Verde was one of the first 16 countries to qualify for the Millennium Challenge Account, and prior to the completion of his Cape Verde assignment, Cape Verde signed a $110 million Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation to fund major infrastructure and water improvements. In addition, Cape Verde became only the sixth country in Africa to achieve Category 1 status for its civil aviation, and in July 2005, Cape Verde’s airline began direct flights to the U.S.
Prior to his nomination to be ambassador to Cape Verde, Amb. Johnson served as U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia (1993-1996), as the Head of Mission in Moldova for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (1996-1997), and in the Irish peace process as one of three members of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (1997-1999). While serving on the Commission, he led the team that carried out the very first voluntary decommissioning of paramilitary weapons in Northern Ireland, which saw the destruction of submachine guns, handguns, ammunition and improvised explosives.
He is a career diplomat, having entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1974. His first post was as Third Secretary in Guatemala. Other overseas postings have been in Moscow, Taipei, Beijing, Madrid, and Tegucigalpa. Domestic assignments include service as a Desk Officer at the State Department and service on the National Security Council at the White House.
Career highlights include earthquake relief in Guatemala; liaison with human rights groups in the former Soviet Union; travel to Mongolia before the U.S. had diplomatic relations; negotiation of drug control and status of forces agreements in Honduras; and numerous trade and scientific agreements while serving as Ambassador to Mongolia.
After growing up in Mexico, he received a B.A. from Lewis and Clark College and a Juris Doctor degree from the same institution. He earned a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1975, and after doing graduate work in law at the George Washington University, he received the Master of Laws in Corporation Law from that institution. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the State Bar of Texas, and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He served in the U.S. Army as a draftee from 1971 to 1973.
He has been a member of the Senior Foreign Service since 1989. He has received the Superior Honor Award (for his part in the defense of the Embassy in Tegucigalpa when it was attacked by a mob) and several performance pay awards.
He has been decorated by the Presidents of Mongolia and Cape Verde in recognition of his service as Ambassador. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, and Mongolian.