Eric Benjaminson serves as the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Gabon and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe. Mr. Benjaminson is a career diplomat specializing in economic and African affairs. From August 2008 until July 2010, he was Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. From 2005 to 2008, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Windhoek, Namibia. Immediately prior, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
From 1999-2003, he was Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium, and had responsibility for a wide variety of bilateral and multilateral trade, financial, and environmental questions. From 1996-1999, Mr. Benjaminson served at the U.S. Embassy in Sweden, where he concentrated on environmental, aviation, and energy issues.
From 1995-1996, he was posted to Washington as special assistant to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, and from 1993-1995 he was responsible for Paris Club and external debt issues in the State Department's Economic Bureau. During that time, he often served as a State Department delegate to Paris Club debt rescheduling talks. Mr. Benjaminson worked at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as the economic officer responsible for financial and development issues. In preparation for that assignment, he studied Chinese for two years in Washington and Taiwan. Prior to that, he served as the economic officer in the Office of Southern African Affairs in Washington and as a consular officer at both the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal and the U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria.
Mr. Benjaminson has been a special lecturer on African and development issues at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in California, at the University of Southern California, at Carleton University in Ottawa, and at the University of Ottawa.
Before entering the Foreign Service in 1982, Mr. Benjaminson worked as an editor at a research institute and as a technician at a Hewlett-Packard factory. Mr. Benjaminson received a B.A. degree with honors in history from University of Oregon in 1980. He was a teaching fellow in history at that university from 1980-1981. He also studied graduate-level economics at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute in 1988. His foreign languages are French, Chinese and Swedish.
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