Ambassador Johnnie Carson, the head of the State Department's Africa Bureau, formally retired on March 29, 2013 ending a 44-year career that included service as Washington's envoy to Nairobi from 1999 to 2003. Photo/FILE Nation Media Group
Ambassador Carson, who will turn 70 next Sunday, sought consistently to advance US interests and Obama administration policy in Africa. He was an ardent optimist regarding Africa's potential for achieving prosperity and democracy.
Ambassador Carson also became embroiled in controversies, most recently in response to his warning in February that Kenya would experience unspecified "consequences" in its relations with the US if certain unnamed candidates were elected to lead the country.