Ambassador Charles Twining entered the Foreign Service in 1964, with initial overseas tours in Madagascar, Vietnam, Cote d‘Ivoire, and Thailand. Beginning in 1982, Mr. Twining was permanent Charge d‘Affaires in Cotonou, Benin, Consul General in Douala, Cameroon, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Several assignments in Washington included service as country officer for Cote d'Ivoire, then-Upper Volta, and Niger, and later for Australia/New Zealand. Following an assignment as Director of the Office of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, he reestablished the United States' presence in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1991 as Chief of Mission.
Mr. Twining was subsequently appointed Ambassador there in 1994 following UN-organized elections. He served as Ambassador to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea from 1996 to 1998 before becoming Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander of the United States Pacific Command in Hawaii 1998-2001. Mr. Twining was posted to the United States Mission to the United Nations as Senior Advisor for East Asia and the Pacific for three separate periods in 2001, 2002, and 2003. He also served as Charge d'Affaires in Accra, Ghana in 2002 prior to his retirement that year. Mr. Twining returned to the State Department in 2004 to work on Burundi and served as Charge d'Affaires in Lome, Togo in 2005 and in Port Louis, Mauritius in 2006.
Ambassador Twining earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Virginia and his master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, with specialization in African studies. He also pursued specialized Southeast Asian studies at Cornell University. A native of Maryland, his languages are French and Khmer.