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Name: McCulley, Terence
Current Position: Ambassador

The next ambassador to the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire will be Terence P. McCulley, a member of the Senior Foreign Service whose diplomatic career has been spent mostly in Africa or working on African issues. If confirmed by the Senate he would succeed Philipp Carter III, who served in Abidjan starting in August 2010.


A native of Medford, Oregon, McCulley grew up in Eugene, where he earned a B.A. in European history and French language and literature at the University of Oregon in 1979. He attended the Université de Haute Bretagne in Rennes, France, from 1979-1980 as a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellow, and also attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.


Joining the Foreign Service in 1985, McCulley’s first three tours were in Niger, South Africa and Chad, working in management, consular and political reporting positions. Following his posting to Chad, he served as consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India.


From 1993 to 1995, McCulley was at the State Department in Washington, DC, serving as the desk officer for Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) during the Rwanda genocide, the massive influx of refugees into eastern Zaire and the beginnings of the conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes region. 


Back in Africa from 1995 to 2004, McCulley served three consecutive stints as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassies in Lomé, Togo, from 1995 to 1998; Dakar, Senegal, from 1998 to 2001; and Tunis, Tunisia, from 2001 to 2004.


In June 2004, he became the deputy coordinator for Iraq assistance in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.


McCulley received his first ambassadorship when President George W. Bush nominated him to be ambassador to Mali in May 2005; confirmed by the Senate in June, McCulley served three years in Bamako.


After serving as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 2008 to 2010, McCulley served as ambassador to Nigeria starting in August 2010.


McCulley is fluent in French, and speaks some Zulu and Wolof. He and his wife, Renée, have two sons.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

Official Biography

États-Unis: Terence McCulley, nouvel ambassadeur en Côte d’Ivoire (by Diomandé Mémoué, Fratmat)

From D.C. With Love: The American Mission in Abuja (by Gunner Hamlyn, Chicago Policy Review)

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