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Darryl Norman Johnson (born 1938) is a retired American politician and career Foreign Service Officer who held many positions in American government around the world. Most recently and importantly he was the United States Ambassador to Thailand from 2001–2004. Additionally, he was acting US Ambassador to the Philippines for several months in 2005. He now lives near Seattle, WA. In retirement he was a lecturer at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Washington, where he taught in its Jackson School of International Studies.[1]

Darryl N. Johnson
Darryl N. Johnson.JPEG
Darryl N. Johnson in 2004
United States Ambassador to Thailand
In office
November 26, 2001 – December 28, 2004
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Richard E. Hecklinger
Succeeded by Ralph Leo Boyce
Director of American Institute in Taiwan
In office
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by B. Lynn Pascoe
Succeeded by Raymond Burghardt
United States Ambassador to Lithuania
In office
March 23, 1992 – May 23, 1994
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Owen J.C. Norem
Succeeded by James W. Swihart
Personal details
Born 1938 (age 79–80)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Washington (B.A.)
University of Minnesota
Princeton University
Occupation Diplomat, Statesman


Early lifeEdit

Mr. Johnson was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1938, and grew up in suburban Seattle, Washington. He attended public schools there, graduating in 1956, and went on to attend the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, and the University of Washington in Seattle, from which he received his BA (Cum Laude) in English Literature in 1960.

At the University of Washington he was a member of the academic honor societies for Military Science, Music and Literature, and was admitted to the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1960. Following graduation he attended the University of Minnesota and Princeton University and worked several months at the Boeing Company in Seattle during and after his university studies. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand (1962–65) before joining the Foreign Service.[2]

Foreign Service CareerEdit

Mr. Johnson had a long and distinguished career as a United States Foreign Service officer, with extensive experience in East European and Asian affairs. Among other assignments, he served on the Bosnia Task Force in Washington and as Charge of the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo in April 1996. Before that, he was Senior Advisor to Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and before that, was Deputy Coordinator for Assistance to the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union.

Mr. Johnson served as the first American Ambassador to the Republic of Lithuania, having arrived in Vilnius in September, 1991, to open the first post-World War II U.S. Mission in that country. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland (1988–91), and before that in Beijing (1984–87), Moscow (1974–77), Hong Kong (1969–73), and Bombay (1966–67). In addition, he served in the Department of State in Washington, D.C., as Officer-in-Charge of Yugoslav Affairs (1977–79), Officer-in-Charge of People's Republic of China Affairs (1979–81), as a Pearson Fellow in the Office of Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) (1981–82), and as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs (1982–84). In the latter position, his responsibilities included East European, Soviet, and East Asian/Pacific Affairs during the tenure of the then Under Secretary, Lawrence Eagleburger.

Post-Foreign ServiceEdit

In his capacity as lecturer at the University of Washington, Ambassador Johnson teaches a class called "Practicing American Foreign Policy", and also advises undergraduate students on their Qualifying Papers, an extended writing assignment of approximately 25 pages that is required by the Jackson School for graduation.[3][4] This teaching position at the University of Washington has previously been held by former U.S. diplomats Ronald Woods and Charles T. Cross.[5] Ambassador Johnson also participates at various speaking engagements in the Seattle area, many of which relate to the Peace Corps and to the United States Foreign Service. He has published op-eds in several major newspapers regarding politics in Thailand, including the Los Angeles Times[6] and the Seattle Times.[7][8]


Mr. Johnson is the father of one daughter and two sons. He is married to the former Kathleen Desa Forance. In addition to English he speaks Chinese (Mandarin), Polish, Russian, Thai and Lithuanian.[9]


  1. ^ "Jackson School of International Studies: Southeast Asia Center". Jackson School of International Studies. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  2. ^ "About Us Meet the Director AIT Introduction Directors & Chairs Offices & Sections Commercial Section Agricultural Trade Office Hours of Operation & Holidays Our Location DARRYL NORMAN JOHNSON (TENURE: 1996 - 1999) Darryl Norman Johnson Assumes Duties as New Director of AIT Taipei". American Institute in Taiwan. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  3. ^ "University of Washington Instructor Class Description". University of Washington, Seattle. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Program Description - International Studies". Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  5. ^ "National Security Advice--in 500 Words or Less". University of Washington Arts and Sciences Newsletter. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ Johnson, Darryl. "Thailand's king reigns--but he doesn't rule". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ Johnson, Darryl. "The surprising fall of Thailand's Thaksin". Seattle Times. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ Johnson, Darryl. "Roots of Crisis in Thailand". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on June 25, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ Darryl Norman Johnson Assumes Duties as New Director of AIT Taipei

External linksEdit