Washington, D.C. – Robert Porter Jackson was sworn in today as President Obama’s new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana. The oath of office was administered by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith, Ambassador of Ghana to the United States, attended the ceremony, as did Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald Teitelbaum.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Ambassador Jackson’s nomination on October 22, 2015. He plans to arrive in Ghana and take up his duties in Accra in early January 2016.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, Ambassador Jackson said:
[My wife] Babs and I are excited about moving to Ghana, one of the leading democracies on the African continent, with active political parties and civil society organizations, a lively media, a history of peaceful political transitions, an apolitical military, and a good human rights record.
As Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, I intend to build on what I have learned over the last 33 years … about building partnerships. My priorities will be to promote strong institutions, good governance, peace, trade, education, and health, unlocking Ghana’s potential for sustained, inclusive, broad-based economic growth and helping it graduate from traditional development assistance.
Three years from now … I trust we will say that the relationship is stronger than ever and that together the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana have each benefited from our friendship, commerce, engagement and exchanges.
Ambassador Jackson has served as the U.S. Department of State’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs since October 2013. From 2010 to 2013 he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon.
Ambassador Jackson’s previous overseas assignments include:
- Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Rabat, Morocco
- Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Dakar, Senegal
- Political/Economic Counselor, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
- Political-Military Officer, Lisbon, Portugal
- Chief of the Political Section, Harare, Zimbabwe
- Political/Economic Officer in Bujumbura, Burundi
- Consular/Economic Officer in Montreal, Canada
He has also served in Washington, D.C., as the Director of the Office for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy; as the Country Officer for Zimbabwe, Botswana and Nigeria; and as the Coordinator of the Entry-Level Officer Training Program and Deputy Director of the Orientation Division at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.
Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1982, Ambassador Jackson taught French and English as a foreign language at the Institute Montana in Zugerberg, Switzerland. He had previously taught English and American Civilization at the University of Clermont in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Ambassador Jackson earned his M.S. in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University, his M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and his B.A. in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Ambassador Jackson speaks French and Portuguese.