Ambassador to Nigeria: Who Is James Entwistle?
President Barack Obama has turned to a career diplomat with extensive experience in Africa to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to the troubled nation of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. James F. Entwistle, who has been ambassador to the even more troubled Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since November 2010, will succeed Terence P. McCulley, who served in Nigeria starting in August 2010.
Born circa 1956 to Air Force Col. Oliver Entwistle and Barbara Entwistle, James Entwistle earned a B.A. at Davidson College in 1978.
Joining the State Department in January 1981, Entwistle served early career postings from 1981 to 1986 in Yaounde, Cameroon; Douala, Cameroon; and Niamey, Niger. Early assignments in Washington, DC, between 1986 and 1990 included service as a watch officer in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and as desk officer for Kenya and Uganda in the Bureau of African Affairs.
From 1991 to 1994, Entwistle was in charge of the Refugee Assistance unit at the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, and served as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Bangui, Central African Republic, from 1994 to 1995.
Back in Washington, Entwistle served in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 1996 to 1998, returning to Southeast Asia to serve as counselor for Political Affairs at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 1999 to 2003.
Entwistle then served two consecutive stints as the number two official at two embassies. From 2003 to 2006, Entwistle was the deputy chief of mission (DCM) at the embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with concurrent accreditation to Maldives, and served as DCM at the embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2007 to 2010, when he was named to his first ambassadorship.
James Entwistle and his wife, Pamela Schmoll, have two children, Jennifer and Jeffrey. He speaks French and Thai.
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