|Ambassador of the United States to Lesotho|
|Nominator||The President of the United States|
with Senate advice and consent
|Inaugural holder||Richard St. F. Post|
as Chargé d'affaires ad interim
|Formation||October 4, 1966|
Prior to 1965, the area of southern Africa that is now Lesotho was a Crown colony by the name of Basutoland. Along with most of the empire's other colonies and protectorates, Basutoland gained full independence from Britain in the 1960s. The nation was granted full autonomy on April 30, 1965. On October 4, 1966, Basutoland was granted independence, governed by a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament. At the same time the name of the country was changed to The Kingdom of Lesotho.
The United States immediately recognized Lesotho after the nation gained its independence. An embassy in Maseru was established on October 4, 1966, Lesotho's independence day. Richard St. F. Post was appointed as chargé d'affaires ad interim pending the arrival of an ambassador. The first ambassador, Charles J. Nelson was appointed on June 9, 1971. Until 1979 one ambassador was accredited to Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana. The ambassador was resident in Gaborone, Botswana.
U.S. diplomatic terms
After 1915, The United States Department of State began classifying ambassadors as career Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) for those who have served in the Foreign Service for a specified amount of time.
A person who is not a career foreign service officer, but is appointed by the president (often as a reward to political friends).
The date that the ambassador took the oath of office; also known as “commissioning”. It follows confirmation of a presidential appointment by the Senate, or a Congressional recess appointment by the president. In the case of a recess appointment, the ambassador requires subsequent confirmation by the Senate to remain in office.
The date that the ambassador presented his letter of credence to the head of state or appropriate authority of the receiving nation. At this time the ambassador officially becomes the representative of his country. This would normally occur a short time after the ambassador’s arrival on station. The host nation may reject the ambassador by not receiving the ambassador’s letter, but this occurs only rarely.
Usually the date that the ambassador left the country. In some cases a letter of recall is presented, ending the ambassador’s commission, either as a means of diplomatic protest or because the diplomat is being reassigned elsewhere and replaced by another envoy.
The person in charge of the business of the embassy when there is no ambassador commissioned to the host country.
Latin phrase meaning "for the time being", "in the meantime".
- Note: Pending appointment of the first ambassador, the following officers served as chargé d'affaires ad interim: Richard St. F. Post (October 1966–July 1968), Norman E. Barth (July 1968–August 1969), and Stephen G. Gebelt (October 1969–December 1970).
|Name||Title||Appointed||Presented Credentials||Terminated Mission||Notes|
|Charles J. Nelson – Career FSO||Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary||June 9, 1971||September 23, 1971||Left Gaborone, March 2, 1974|
|David B. Bolen – Career FSO||February 28, 1974||April 25, 1974||Left Gaborone, August 11, 1976|
|Donald R. Norland – Career FSO||November 17, 1976||January 6, 1977||Left Gaborone, October 6, 1979||Beginning in 1979, the ambassador was accredited solely to Lesotho and resident in Maseru.|
|John R. Clingerman – Career FSO||September 28, 1979||November 1, 1979||November 15, 1981|
|Keith Lapham Brown – Political appointee||March 9, 1982||March 25, 1982||December 1, 1983|
|Shirley Abbott – Political appointee||May 11, 1984||July 3, 1984||July 7, 1989|
|Robert M. Smalley – Political appointee||June 15, 1987||July 2, 1987||July 7, 1989|
|Leonard H. O. Spearman – Political appointee||October 22, 1990||January 24, 1991||April 25, 1993||Karl Hoffmann served as chargé d'affaires ad interim, April 1993–April 1995.|
|Bismarck Myrick – Career FSO||March 4, 1995||April 27, 1995||June 10, 1998|
|Katherine Canavan – Career FSO||June 29, 1998||September 18, 1998||June 1, 2001|
|Robert Geers Loftis – Career FSO||August 6, 2001||October 11, 2001||June 18, 2004|
|June Carter Perry – Career FSO||July 2, 2004||September 23, 2004||2007|
|Robert B. Nolan – Career FSO||September 26, 2007||October 10, 2007||September 3, 2010|
|Michele T. Bond – Career FSO||September 14, 2010||October 28, 2010||2012|
|Matthew T. Harrington – Career FSO||September 22, 2014||October 18, 2014||January 20, 2017|
|Rebecca Gonzales – Career FSO||November 16, 2017||February 8, 2018||Incumbent|
- Accredited to Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana; resident at Gaborone.
- Norland was commissioned during a recess of the Senate and recommissioned after confirmation on June 24, 1977.
- "June Carter Perry". US Department of State. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Nolan, Robert". US Department of State. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "Bond, Michele Thoren". US Department of State. Archived from the original on 2013-10-13. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- United States Department of State: Background notes on Lesotho
- This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website https://www.state.gov/countries-areas/. (U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets)
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