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Genta Hawkins Holmes (born September 3, 1940 in Anadarko, Oklahoma) is an American foreign service officer who served as ambassador to Namibia and Australia.[1] In addition, she has served as a "Diplomat-in-Residence" at the University of California, Davis.

Genta H. Holmes
United States Ambassador to Australia
In office
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byEdward J. Perkins
Succeeded byEdward W. Gnehm
1st United States Ambassador to Namibia
In office
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byMarshall Fletcher McCallie
Personal details
Born (1940-08-03) August 3, 1940 (age 78)
Anadarko, Oklahoma
Alma materUniversity of Southern California


Early life and educationEdit

Holmes graduated from high school at Huntington Park High School, Huntington Park, California in 1958. She received her B.A. in International Relations magna cum laude from the University of Southern California in 1962 and pursued graduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science on a Rotary International Fellowship from 1962–1963.[2]


During her career at the U.S. State Department, she was the first U.S. Ambassador to Namibia and later served as Ambassador to Australia. From 1992–1995 she was the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Personnel at the State Department. During her career in the Foreign Service, other assignments included:

  • Working for Congress as an American Political Science Association Fellow (1977–1978). She was the first woman selected for this position.
  • Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (1979)
  • Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti during a tense and violent period (1986–1988)
  • Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. Embassy in South Africa at the time of the transition (1989–1990)
  • Deputy Chief of Mission in Malawi 1984–1986
  • Chief of the Economic/Commercial Section at the American Embassy in Nassau, Bahamas
  • U.S. Embassy in Paris
  • U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Ambassador Holmes speaks French, and holds both the Presidential and a Superior Honor Awards of the Department of State. She is married to Michael Dayton Holmes, a former Marine and Vietnam veteran.


  1. ^ "Genta Hawkins Holmes". Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Genta Hawkins Holmes". The American Academy of Diplomacy. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.

External linksEdit