United States Ambassador to Tanzania

Ambassador of the United States to Tanzania

Seal of the United States Department of State
Mark Childress

since May 22, 2014
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder William Leonhart
as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Formation August 22, 1962
Website U.S. Embassy - Dar es Salaam

The country that is now Tanzania comprises the former countries of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika achieved independence from the United Kingdom in December 1961.

The United States immediately recognized the new nation and moved to establish diplomatic relations. An embassy in Dar es Salaam was established on December 9, 1961—independence day for Tanganyika. William R. Duggan was appointed as chargé d'affaires ad interim pending the appointment of an ambassador. The first ambassador, William Leonhart was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on August 22, 1962, and presented his credentials to the government on October 3, 1962.

Zanzibar received its independence from the United Kingdom on December 19, 1963, as a constitutional monarchy under the sultan. The U.S. established an embassy in Zanzibar on December 10, 1963, with Frederick P. Picard III as chargé d'affaires ad interim.

On April 26, 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania on October 29, 1964.

An ambassador to Zanzibar had not yet been appointed when that country was united with the Tanganyika. Frank C. Carlucci III was serving as chargé d'affaires ad interim in Zanzibar when the embassy was downgraded to a U.S. consulate on June 27, 1964. Ambassador Leonhart in Dar es Salaam continued to serve as the ambassador to Tanzania.


U.S. diplomatic terms

Career FSO
After 1915, The United States Department of State began classifying ambassadors as career Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) for those who have served in the Foreign Service for a specified amount of time.

Political appointee
A person who is not a career foreign service officer, but is appointed by the president (often as a reward to political friends).

The date that the ambassador took the oath of office; also known as “commissioning”. It follows confirmation of a presidential appointment by the Senate, or a Congressional-recess appointment by the president. In the case of a recess appointment, the ambassador requires subsequent confirmation by the Senate.

Presented credentials
The date that the ambassador presented his letter of credence to the head of state or appropriate authority of the receiving nation. At this time the ambassador officially becomes the representative of his country. This would normally occur a short time after the ambassador’s arrival on station. The host nation may reject the ambassador by not receiving the ambassador’s letter, but this occurs only rarely.

Terminated mission
Usually the date that the ambassador left the country. In some cases a letter of recall is presented, ending the ambassador’s commission, either as a means of diplomatic protest or because the diplomat is being reassigned elsewhere and replaced by another envoy.

Chargé d'affaires
The person in charge of the business of the embassy when there is no ambassador commissioned to the host country. See chargé d'affaires.

Ad interim
Latin phrase meaning "for the time being", "in the meantime". See ad interim.


  1. Leonhart was originally commissioned to Tanganyika. He was recommissioned when Tanganyika became a republic and presented new credentials on December 17, 1962.
  2. Leonhart continued to serve without further reaccreditation after the formation of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

See also


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