It seems as if some key nominations in the Obama administration are filling up. Earlier last week Obama appointed a new special envoy for Sudan. On March 20th, with little attention from the media, the White House also announced that Johnnie Carson would be nominated as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. President Obama said, "This group of public servants joins my administration at a critical time in our nation’s history. As we work to rebuild our economy, achieve energy independence and keep American strong at home and abroad, I will rely on their trusted counsel and extensive experience on the issues. I look forward to working with them in the months ahead..."
As I begin to formulate a profile of this nomination, does anyone have any thoughts? Will he be better than the current Assistant Secretary, Jendayi Frazer? What’s your expectation for U.S. policy towards Africa?
National Intelligence Officer for Africa
Ambassador Johnnie Carson joined the NIC as National Intelligence Officer for Africa in September 2006 after a 37-year career in Foreign Service. Prior to this appointment, Carson served as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington D.C. (2003-2006). Carson's Foreign Service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997), and Uganda (1991-1994); and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs (1997-1999). Earlier in his career he had assignments in Portugal (1982-1986), Botswana (1986-1990), Mozambique (1975-1878), and Nigeria (1969-1971). He has also served as desk officer in the Africa section at State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1971-1974); Staff Officer for the Secretary of State (1978-1979), and Staff Director for the Africa Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives (1979-1982).
Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Carson was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-1968. He has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Drake University and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the School of Oriental and Africa Studies at the University of London.
Ambassador Carson is the recipient of several Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State and a Meritorious Service Award from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The Centers for Disease Control presented Ambassador Carson its highest award, "Champion of Prevention Award," for his leadership in directing the US Government's HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Kenya.