Edward M. “Ned” Alford has been selected by President Barack Obama to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia. Ambassador Alford was nominated on March 5, 2012 and confirmed by Congress June 29, 2012.
Ambassador Alford, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with a rank of Minister Counselor, was born in Kentucky, earned a B.A. in politics and German at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and served in the U.S. Army for three years.
Mr. Alford joined the Foreign Service in December 1978. Early overseas postings included service as a consular officer in Manama, Bahrain; Nairobi, Kenya; and management officer in Leningrad, Russia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Windhoek, Namibia. Alford also served as a general services officer at the embassies in Rome, Italy and Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Mr. Alford served as Management Minister Counselor in Moscow, Islamabad, Pakistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.
In Washington, Alford’s State Department assignments have included post management officer for East Africa; senior advisor to the Under Secretary for Management; and Executive Director of the bureaus of South Central Asia and Near East Asia Affairs. Alford was executive assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Management until July 2009 when he was named consul general at the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, Germany.
Mr. Alford speaks German, Russian, and Arabic.