An extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador is usually the head of a diplomatic mission abroad. They establish diplomatic relations between two countries at the highest level. A plenipotentiary ambassador has full authority to represent his country of origin and can sign treaties and conventions. An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state or to an international organization as a resident representative of their own government or sovereign or is appointed to a special diplomatic mission and often, temporary.
The word is also used informally for people who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of activity, such as sales. An ambassador is the highest-ranking government representative stationed in a foreign capital or country. The host country usually allows the ambassador to control a specific territory called an embassy, whose territory, personnel, and vehicles generally enjoy diplomatic immunity in the host country. According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an ambassador has the highest diplomatic rank.
Countries can choose to maintain diplomatic relations at a lower level by appointing a chargé d'affaires instead of an ambassador. The foreign government to which an ambassador is assigned must first approve the person. In some cases, the foreign government may revoke its approval by declaring the diplomat persona non grata, i.e., this type of declaration generally results in the removal of the ambassador in their home country. In accordance with the Vienna Congress of 1815 and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, the ambassador and embassy staff enjoy diplomatic immunity and personal security while living abroad. Due to the advent of modern technologies, today's world is a much smaller place in relative terms.
With this in mind, it is considered important that the nations of the world have at least one small staff living in foreign capitals to help travelers and visitors to their country of origin. As a foreign service official, an ambassador is expected to protect the citizens of their home country in the host country. Another result of the increase in foreign travel is the growth of trade between nations. For most countries, the national economy is now part of the global economy. This means greater opportunities to sell and trade with other nations.
When two nations carry out a commercial operation, it is usually advantageous for both parties to have an ambassador and perhaps a small staff living in the other country, where they act as intermediaries between cooperative companies. One of the cornerstones of foreign diplomatic missions is working for peace. This task can turn into a fight against international terrorism, drug trafficking, international bribery and human trafficking. Ambassadors help stop these acts, helping people around the world.
These activities are important and sensitive and are usually carried out in coordination with the state's Ministry of Defense and the head of the nation. Even before the rise of modern diplomatic relations, sovereign states, which traded with each other, went to war and arranged peace, needed to establish diplomatic relations, which took various forms. For example, the city-states of classical Greece used the system of proxenism, according to which a proxeno (who was a citizen of the host city and not of the city whose interests he promoted) fulfilled some of the functions assigned to modern ambassadors and consuls. The rise of the modern diplomatic system was the product of the Italian Renaissance (around 1300 AD).
The use of ambassadors became a political strategy in Italy during the 15th century. Political changes in Italy altered the role of ambassadors in diplomatic matters. As many of Italy's states were small, they were particularly vulnerable to larger states. The ambassador system was used to disperse information and protect the most vulnerable states. This practice was later extended to Europe during the Italian Wars.
The use and creation of ambassadors during the 15th century in Italy had long-term effects on Europe and, in turn, on diplomatic and political progress in the world. Europe continues to use the same terms about the rights of ambassadors that it had established in the 16th century, with regard to the rights of ambassadors in host countries, as well as to appropriate diplomatic procedures. An ambassador was used as a representative of the state of origin to negotiate and disseminate information in order to maintain peace and establish relations with other states. This attempt was employed in an effort to maintain peaceful relations with nations and to establish alliances in difficult times. The use of ambassadors today is widespread.
State and non-state actors use diplomatic representatives to address any problems that arise within the international system. Ambassadors now normally live abroad or in the country to which they are assigned for long periods of time to familiarize themselves with the local culture and population. In this way, they are more politically effective and trust them, allowing them to achieve the objectives that their host country desires. The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which entered into force in 1964 and is still in force, modified the system. According to her, ambassadors are diplomats of the highest rank, who formally represent their head of state, with plenipotentiary powers (that is, full powers to represent the government).
In modern parlance, most ambassadors abroad as heads of mission bear the full title of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. The distinction between extraordinary and ordinary ambassadors was common when not all ambassadors resided in the country to which they were assigned and often served only for a specific purpose or mission. Historically, extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors have been considered the personal representatives of the sovereign, and the custom of sending ambassadors to the head of state and not to the government has persisted. For example, ambassadors to and from the United Kingdom are accredited to the Royal Court of St.
James. Ambassadors have the highest diplomatic rank and have priority over chargés d'affaires, who are accredited by the Minister of Affairs Exteriors. Ambassadors also outnumbered those sent until the 1960s, when the last legations became embassies. An ambassador-general is a diplomat of the highest rank or a minister accredited to represent his country.
However, unlike the resident ambassador, who is normally limited to a country or an embassy, the ambassador on a special mission can be appointed to work in several countries, usually neighboring countries, in a region or, sometimes, at the headquarters of international organizations such as the United Nations or the European Union. In some cases, an ambassador on a special mission may even be assigned the specific function of advising and assisting the State or Government on specific issues. In some countries, a former ambassador may continue to be stylized and called ambassador throughout his life (in the United States, you can hear Mr. Ambassador or Madam Ambassador).
In other countries, the title of ambassador is a title that the holder acquires only with respect to a specific position and cannot be used after leaving office or exceeding it. Some countries do not use the term while the ambassador is in their country of origin, since the holder of the position is not an ambassador in that country; for example, when an ambassador of Canada is in Canada he is not usually called an ambassador, although he can be called Canadian ambassador to Canada. In a less formal sense, the phrase is used to refer to high-profile non-diplomatic representatives of various entities (rarely states), mainly cultural and charitable organizations, often as front men willing to attract media attention; for example, movie and pop stars call on the general public to carry out United Nations activities, sometimes during packed press visits to the foreign country. Public figures are sometimes appointed or invited to support designated events such as ambassadors, brand ambassadors and goodwill ambassadors.
In addition, in the United States of America, senior career officers of the United States Foreign Service may be appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, with the rank of professional ambassador. Holders of this rank may not necessarily possess diplomatic authority or accreditation to any state, although nearly all of them have previously served as ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiaries during their careers. By custom, they occupy the lifetime rank (including retirement), are called ambassadors, and can use the title of ambassadors of the United States. Notable professional ambassadors include Lawrence Eagleburger, William Joseph Burns and Ryan Crocker.
Ambassador to Spain, he shares his experience in representing U.S. interests abroad and offers advice for new ambassadors during the Biden presidency. One of the many things President Joe Biden must do is to nominate up to 190 American candidates. Ambassadors at embassies around the world, from Albania to Zimbabwe.
Many of those ambassadors will address countries that the United States considers allies, such as France, Germany and Canada. However, some will serve in countries with which the United States disagrees on key issues, such as Russia. Before retiring at the end of June, Tufts Now met with Solomont to discuss how to become a U.S. ambassador, what it was like to represent the United States in Spain, and his advice for future ambassadors.
These are people who are generally close to the president and who have relationships with the president's staff in the White House. It is likely that they played important roles in the president's election campaign and, in some respects, their appointment is a reward both for their loyalty and for their hard work. They are also people the president trusts and who understand the president's approach to diplomacy and foreign policy. Roughly one-third of President Obama's ambassadors were not professional ambassadors. But they also asked me if I would be interested in running an embassy as a United States ambassador, and I said yes.
Before the inauguration, I was told to submit the names of the 10 countries in which I would like to serve and, strangely enough, Spain was not on the list. It leaves a fairly small group of advisors to the president, including some who participated in the campaign, to prepare a list of candidates for approval by the president. It didn't have a particularly close connection with Spain. I had visited it twice, once in 1971 when I had just graduated from college. When I graduated from Tufts, I won a Watson scholarship to study independently and travel abroad and, frankly, I was traveling more independently than I was studying.
I was driving a Volkswagen bus from London to Marrakech and spent about 10 days in Madrid during the Christmas and New Year holidays of 1970-71, hosted by a student from the Fletcher School and the family of his Spanish wife. In retrospect, I could see Spain as the poor and backwater it was during Franco's military dictatorship, and that made me appreciate, when I returned as ambassador, the amazing transformation that the country had undergone in its transition to democracy. Before any public announcement was made of my nomination, they had to subject me to an investigation to make sure that nothing I formed could be embarrassing for President Obama. It was quite strange and a little uncomfortable to see the FBI knocking on the doors of my neighborhood and asking the neighbors about me, without them knowing why they were asking.
What was it like to represent the United States in Spain and oversee an embassy? It turned out that I had almost a year, before they confirmed me, to prepare my mission, and I dedicated myself to learning about Spain's relationship with the United States, its role in the international community and the issues I had to master as President Obama's representative in Spain. An ambassador represents our federal government and the American people, but ultimately, you are the personal representative of the President of the United States to a foreign government. It helped that President Obama was adored in Spain. An embassy is a miniature version of the federal government in a foreign country.
All federal agencies that have some type of business abroad, and practically all, have representatives at the embassy, including those for commerce, agriculture, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, etc. All federal employees in Spain, except soldiers under combat command, depend on the United States ambassador, and that has enormous authority to apply the levers of the federal government of the United States to their relationship with the government of the host country, its business community and its public. The Embassy of Madrid has about 130 foreign service officials and 250 Spanish citizens, who work in the embassy and carry out the diplomatic mission. Having the presence of those agencies and the authority of the United States, the President of the United States confers an enormous amount of power on the ambassador to move the United States forward, and being an ambassador of the United States means that all doors of the country are open to you and you have access to top businessmen, political leaders, artists, celebrities, athletes, etc. This combination of authority and access makes the job unique and presents an incredible opportunity to do important things on behalf of our country and our world. I recently went to Afghanistan to visit Spanish troops and familiarize myself with the situation there.
At the beginning of my tour, one of our government's main priorities was to continue the war in Afghanistan. Spain was part of an international alliance of 49 countries that had military troops in Afghanistan, and one of my tasks was to reinforce and maintain their commitment to the work of the alliance. In the second year of the Obama administration, the president had ordered an increase in the number of American troops, and we asked our allies to do the same. Spain increased its workforce by 50% and we wanted to thank them for being good partners. The Spanish understood the mission, which was to prevent Afghanistan from falling into the hands of a government that would allow terrorists to establish themselves there and from where they could harm the United States and our European allies.
How was the visit of then-Vice President Joe Biden during Spain's economic crisis? The main issue I had to face during my three and a half years in Spain was the impact of the global economic and financial crisis. Unemployment in Spain rose to 27%. Its federal deficit reached 11% of gross domestic product. Spain was on the verge of insolvency, and the United States considered that Spain was too big to fail.
If Spain needed a rescue from the European Union, as Greece, Ireland and Portugal did, the European Union's coffers would be insufficient for the size of the Spanish economy, and that could jeopardize our own economic recovery. My task was to work closely with the Spanish government, with the office of the president and his economic advisors, to monitor the situation and transmit accurate information to Washington, in order to guide our government's policy and interventions. We did not believe that Spain was taking the necessary measures or that it was facing the seriousness of its situation. In fact, the center-left government that was in power when I arrived was dismissed in the following national elections for not having sufficiently addressed the economic crisis.
It was decided that Vice President Biden would visit Madrid to express the concerns of our government. He arrived with a small group on a Friday afternoon, and that night, Susan and I took them all to dinner at the best Italian restaurant in Madrid. I had earlier asked about the vice president's food preferences and they told me that he liked pasta and red sauce. Therefore, we chose an Italian restaurant.
It was a lovely evening we were able to spend with this wonderful man, who now happens to be the President of the United States. The Vice President met privately with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero for more than an hour and discussed all the topics of conversation we had suggested about the economy. We know how difficult this is and how difficult decisions are, but nothing can substitute for bold and decisive action. We have had to face this ourselves and take steps that were politically unpopular and difficult, but there is no other alternative. After that, we had a round table led by Vice President Biden with all the ministers of Zapatero's cabinet, in which we addressed issues related to energy, trade, Iran and Middle East.
We knew that we could hold a public event with the vice-president and we thought carefully about what would have the greatest impact. We decided to take him to a military base outside Madrid, where troops were about to be deployed in Afghanistan. We were in a large parade ground in front of 500 Spanish soldiers in training. There was a red carpet leading to the podium and, accompanied by my military attaché, I entered the side of the Vice President of the United States.
The President of Spain entered with his ambassador to the United States, accompanied by his military attaché. A military band played the Spanish national anthem and The Star-Spangled Banner. Among the memories I most cherish from our service in Spain are what my wife and I call “moments of pinching”. Standing by Vice President Biden's side that day and listening to our national anthem was one of those “pinching” moments. I never took them for granted because I knew what a privilege it was to hold this position.
What advice would you give to future U.S. ambassadors, including people who will soon be appointed by President Biden? One of the realities of being an ambassador is that Washington lacks the necessary bandwidth to manage all of these bilateral relations and, therefore, that responsibility lies with the embassy and on the shoulders of the United States ambassador. Surprisingly, there is little oversight and sometimes it's frustrating to try to get Washington's attention. The best ambassadors work very hard, but some get away with it without working as hard as they could, or focus more on the social aspects of work. My advice to future ambassadors who are not professional ambassadors is to realize that this is a very serious job.
The work that our diplomats do has an enormous impact on our own security and prosperity. Be aware of the seriousness of the position and remember that it's not about you. But take advantage of the “pinch me” moments. United States ambassadors are people nominated by the president to serve as the country's diplomatic representatives to foreign nations, international organizations, and ambassadors in general. According to Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of the United States, his appointment must be confirmed by the United States Senate; while an ambassador can be appointed during a recess, he can only hold office until the end of the next session of Congress, unless be confirmed later.
Ambassadors are the highest-ranking diplomats in the United States and are usually based at the host country's embassy. They are under the jurisdiction of the Department of State and report directly to the Secretary of State; however, ambassadors serve at the discretion of the president, meaning they can be removed at any time. Appointments change regularly for a variety of reasons, such as reassignment or retirement. An ambassador can be a career Foreign Service officer (career diplomat - CD) or a designated political official (PA). In most cases, career foreign service officials serve for a period of approximately three years for each ambassadorial position, while people appointed for political reasons usually resign when a new president takes office.
Please note that the information on this list is subject to change due to regular personnel changes resulting from retirements and reassignments. The State Department releases updated lists of ambassadors approximately once a month, which can be accessed through a interactive menu-based website. Senior diplomatic representatives of the United States were housed in positions other than embassies. Unlike other consulates, these people report directly to the Secretary of State.
The ambassador is the president's highest-ranking representative in a country or international organization abroad. The ambassador directs diplomats and staff serving in the U.S. UU. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat served as ambassador to Bangladesh, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.
In this video, he presents the role and responsibilities of the U.S. Use the following discussion questions to guide your classroom conversations about this video. Consult the timestamps to find the answers to these Questions. The following terms are referred to in this video.
Use this video in your advanced placement and international baccalaureate classes. Below are the instructions for each course.