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James McGee

U.S. ambassador — U.S. Government

Ambassador James D. McGee spent the majority of his 30-year foreign service career overseas working in support of U.S. Government policy. Most of his assignments were in hardship postings. His professional skills include political-military affairs, crisis management, international negotiation and management.

After serving with distinction for 19 years as a State Department management officer, he was nominated and confirmed as ambassador to the Kingdom of Swaziland from 2002 to 2004, Madagascar and the Comoros Islands from 2004 to 2007, and Zimbabwe 2007 to 2009. He then returned to the National War College in Washington D.C., as the senior advisor to the director of the African Center for Strategic Studies. At his last assignment, Ambassador McGee opened the first political-military office to provide diplomatic advice and guidance to the commander of U.S. naval forces Europe, Africa, and the 6th Fleet.

Ambassador McGee served in the U.S. Air Force for five and a half years during the Vietnam war and earned three Distinguished Flying Crosses and 16 Air Medals while flying on 471 combat missions.

In addition to his military honors, Ambassador McGee was presented the Palmer Award for Diplomatic Excellence in 2011, the Diplomacy for Freedom Award in 2008, and numerous Presidential Pay and Superior Honor Awards during his State Department career.

Ambassador McGee has been active in community outreach and educational programs around the world, serving as an International School board member in Lahore, Pakistan, and Kingston, Jamaica, and as chairman of the board in Mbabane, Swaziland. He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and serves on the board of directors for the Global Alliance for Zimbabwe and the Committee for the Community of Democracies.

His wife, Shirley, is also retired from the Department of State. She continues to be a strong advocate for the rights of women and has worked with disadvantaged children around the world.

Ambassador McGee is a graduate of Indiana University and the Defense Language Institute. He speaks French and Vietnamese.

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