John Campbell (diplomat)

John Campbell (born 1944) was the acting director of the Office of the Historian within the Department of State. He was appointed to the position in June 2009 and was succeeded as acting director by Edward P. Brynn the same year.[1]

John Campbell
John Campbell-ambassador.jpg
United States Ambassador to Nigeria
In office
May 20, 2004 – November 1, 2007
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byHoward Franklin Jeter
Succeeded byRobin Renee Sanders
The Historian of the U.S. Department of State
In office
July 2009 – September 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byMarc Susser
Succeeded byEdward P. Brynn
Personal details
Born1944 (age 76–77)
Alma materUniversity of Virginia
University of Wisconsin

Early lifeEdit

Born in Washington, D.C., Campbell earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Virginia and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1970.

Consular careerEdit

Campbell joined the Foreign Service in 1975.[2] He first served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources at the State Department. His numerous overseas postings include service as a political counselor in Nigeria in the late 1980s, in South Africa in the mid 1990s during the transition from apartheid to majority rule and also assignments in Lyon, Geneva and Paris.

Campbell also served as United States Ambassador to Nigeria. He was appointed by President George W. Bush and served from May 12, 2004 to July 19, 2007. He presented his credentials on June 25, 2004 and was succeeded by Robin R. Sanders.[3]

In 2008, Campbell led an Office of the Inspector General's investigation into the U.S. mission in Mexico.[4]

Post-consular careerEdit

In July 2009 Campbell was given the post of acting director at the Office of the Historian after the removal of Marc Susser from the post.[5] He left in September, after just two months, to work with the think tank Council on Foreign Relations, where he is the Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa policy studies.[2]

In 2010, Campbell published his first book, titled Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink.[6] The second edition of the book was published in June 2013. Campbell has also written Morning in South Africa, published in May 2016 and Nigeria: What Everyone Needs to Know, co-authored with Matthew Page and published in July 2018.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Historian". Office of the Historian. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "John Campbell". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  3. ^ "John Campbell (1944-)". Office of the Historian. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  4. ^ "John Campbell". Academy of Diplomacy. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  5. ^ "State Department Inspector General Issues Report on the Office of the Historian". The National Coalition for History. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Author archive John Campbell". Defense One. Retrieved 1 January 2019.


External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
United States Ambassador to Nigeria
Succeeded by