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When the Life of the Party Became Ambassador to France

An effective diplomat, dazzling socialite, and the mother of Winston Churchill’s grandson, Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman won the respect of fellow diplomats and adroitly handled complex problems related to the war in the Balkans, export subsidies, and intellectual property rights during her tenure as U.S. Ambassador to France from 1993-1997. Richard Holbrooke said of […]

Frances Willis, The First Career Female Ambassador

Frances Willis was the first female to rise to the rank of Ambassador as a career Foreign Service Officer. After she was graduated from Stanford with a PhD in Political Science in 1923, she taught political science at Gardner College and Vassar College until she decided to switch careers, saying “I didn’t want to just […]

France has de Gaulle to Withdraw from NATO

On June 21, 1966, France made the somewhat shocking move to withdraw its troops from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This decision led by French president Charles de Gaulle complicated relations between the U.S. and Europe amidst clashing American and Communist spheres of influence. Though France remained politically in NATO, its actions cast doubt […]

An American Diplomat in Vichy France

Shortly after Nazi Germany invaded France in May 1940, the French government surrendered and signed the Second Armistice. Under its terms, the north of France was occupied and directly administered by the Nazis, while the south remained nominally independent under a government seated in Vichy, but which was still under suzerainty of the Nazis; it […]

An Embassy in Brazzaville During the Time of Independence

Prior to mid-August 1960, the United States had limited diplomatic activity in the French African colonies. However, within a 48-hour time span, Alan Wood Lukens, the U.S. Consul in Brazzaville, suddenly had plenty to do when the French announced a rapid withdrawal from their African colonies. This action suddenly promoted him de facto as the […]