Appointments | April 2020


Roger D. Carstens – Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs

Roger D. Carstens of Virginia is the new Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. Carstens was previously a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Before that, he served as country director for a private U.S. company in Amman, Jordan. Carstens has held positions at posts in Afghanistan and Somalia. He served as a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and as a special assistant for Legislative Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is a retired Army Lt. Col. who served in Special Forces and the 1st Ranger Battalion. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and holds an M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College.


Todd C. Chapman – U.S. Ambassador to Brazil

Todd C. Chapman (SFS) of Texas is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil. Chapman previously served as the ambassador to the Republic of Ecuador from 2016-2019. He served as deputy chief of mission in Brasilia, chargé d’affaires and deputy chief of mission in Maputo, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, senior deputy coordinator for Economic Affairs, and many other leadership roles in Washington. Some of Chapman’s earlier posts included La Paz, San Jose, Abuja, Mozambique, and Taiwan. Chapman has a B.A. from Duke University and an M.S. from the Joint Military Intelligence College. He speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese.


John Hennessey-Niland – U.S. Ambassador to Palau

John Hennessey-Niland (SFS) of Illinois is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Palau. Hennessey-Niland has served as a political counselor at Embassy Canberra since 2017. With more than 30 years in the Foreign Service, Hennessey-Niland has served as the foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific in Hawaii, political-economics chief in Suva, deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Dublin, and director of the National Security Council for the G-20/G-7. He has also held other positions at posts in Islamabad and Paris. Hennessey-Niland has a B.A. from Tufts University, an M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and attended École National d’Administration in France. He speaks French and Dutch.


Dorothy Shea – U.S. Ambassador to the Lebanese Republic

Dorothy Shea (SFS) of North Carolina is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Lebanese Republic. Shea has served as deputy chief of mission in Cairo since 2017. Previously, she served as deputy principal officer in Jerusalem, and director of the Office of Assistance for Asian and the Near East in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Before that, Shea was a Pearson Fellow with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, director for Democracy and Human Rights at the National Security Council, special assistant to the Special Envoy for War Crimes Issues, desk officer in the Office of West African Affairs, and foreign affairs analyst and intelligence watch officer. She has also served in other positions at posts in Tunis, Tel Aviv, and Johannesburg. Shea has a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.S. from Georgetown University, and an M.A. from the National War College. She speaks Arabic and French. 


Donald Wright – U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania

Donald Wright (SFS) of Virginia is the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania. Wright has served as deputy assistant secretary for health and as director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 2012. Wright has a long history in leadership positions at both HHS and the Department of Labor and, in his early career, served as a clinician in Texas for 17 years. He has a B.A. from Texas Tech University, an M.D. from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and an M.P.H. at the Medical College of Wisconsin.


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