Ambassador Whitehead arrived in Lome on May 3, 2012 for his posting as U.S. Ambassador to Togo. Previously, he served in Washington as Director of the Africa office in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Ambassador Whitehead is a member of the Senior Foreign Service and has received the Department’s Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards. He speaks French and Romanian.
Robert E. Whitehead is a career Foreign Service officer who entered the United States Foreign Service in 1983. His first assignment was as a consular officer in Georgetown (Guyana) in 1983. He then served as political/economic officer in Kinshasa (Zaire, 1985), as political and press officer in Belize City (Belize, 1987), as desk officer for Francophone West Africa (Washington, 1989-1991), as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bangui (Central African Republic, 1991), as Chargé d’Affaires a.i. in Kigali (Rwanda, 1994), as Political Counselor in Bucharest (Romania, 1995), and Deputy Chief of Mission in Lusaka (Zambia, 1998) and Harare (Zimbabwe, 2001). He was the first American consul general in Juba, (then Sudan) in 2006, and Chargé d’Affaires in Khartoum from 2009-2011. He has also served as a Senior Inspector in the Office of the State Department Inspector General.
Mr. Whitehead graduated from Taylor University in 1972 and earned an M.A. in English literature and linguistics from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he was a graduate fellow. From 1976 to 1980, he was a volunteer and a Fulbright lecturer at the National University of Zaire.