Ambassador Robert Patterson arrived in Ashgabat in May, 2011, where he is the Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America to Turkmenistan. He was nominated by President Barack Obama on March 3, 2011, and confirmed by the Senate on April 14, 2011. He was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan on April 26, 2011.
Ambassador Patterson is a career officer in the Senior Foreign Service. He has had foreign assignments in Central and Eastern Europe, the North Caucasus, Russia, the USSR, and East Africa since joining the State Department in 1985.
Immediately before coming to Turkmenistan, Ambassador Patterson served as Counselor for Somalia Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. He has also served as Chief of the Political/Internal Office in Moscow, and has headed the political sections at U.S. embassies in Hungary, Ukraine, and Armenia.
A native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Ambassador Patterson received a B.A. degree from Reed College, and M.A. and M.Phil degrees from Columbia University, as well as an M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College. Ambassador Patterson served in the U.S. Air Force, and received an Honorable Discharge in 1974. He speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, and German. Ambassador Patterson is married to fellow Foreign Service Officer Inmi Patterson, who is currently the U.S. Consul General in Hamburg, Germany.