About the new U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda

On 16 November 2017 at 12:45

The next ambassador to the African nation of Rwanda will be career diplomat Peter Vrooman, who has extensive diplomatic experience in the region.

Nominated October 26, 2017, Vrooman most recently served at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as deputy chief of mission from July 2014 to August 2016 and as chargé d’affaires from September 2016 to July 2017. If confirmed by the Senate, Vrooman would succeed Erica J. Barks-Ruggles, who served in Kigali starting in December 2014.

Peter Hendrick Vrooman was born March 1, 1966, near Canton, New York. Vrooman worked from 1989 to 1990 as special assistant to Richard F. Pedersen, then the president of the American University in Cairo and a former U.S. ambassador to Hungary, before joining the State Department as a foreign service officer in 1991.

Vrooman served early career assignments as watch officer in the State Department’s Operations Center (circa 1991 to 1992); in Djibouti City, Djibouti (circa 1992 to 1993); at the US Liaison Office in Mogadishu, Somalia (circa 1994); as desk officer for Algeria (circa 1995 to 1997) in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; and in Beirut, Lebanon (circa 1998 to 2000).

Vrooman served as deputy political counselor at the U.S. mission to the United Nations from 2000 to 2005, and was an advisor on the Middle East. He then served three straight postings concerned with that region: as deputy political counselor at the embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel (circa 2006 to 2008); at the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq (circa 2008 to 2009); and as director for Iraq on the staff of the National Security Council (circa 2009 to 2011).

Vrooman also completed his education, earning an M.S. in National Security and Resource Strategy at the Eisenhower School for National Security & Resource Strategy at the National Defense University in 2011.

Vrooman worked as spokesperson at the embassy in New Delhi, India, from August 2011 to May 2014, after which he began his stint in Ethiopia.

Vrooman speaks Arabic and French. He is married to Johnette Iris Stubbs, a photographer with whom he has two children, Zarah and Hendrick.

Peter Hendrick Vrooman