List of ambassadors of the United States to France

Ambassador of the United States to France
Ambassadeur des États-Unis en France
Seal of the United States Department of State
Jamie McCourt

since December 18, 2017
Residence Hôtel de Pontalba
Nominator The President of the United States
Inaugural holder Benjamin Franklin
as Envoy
Formation 1778
Website U.S. Embassy – Paris

The United States Ambassador to France is the official representative of the President of the United States to the President of France. The United States has maintained diplomatic relations with France since the American Revolution. Relations were upgraded to the higher rank of Ambassador in 1893. The diplomatic relationship has continued through France's five republics, two empires, and three monarchies.

List of United States Chiefs of Mission in France

Ministers to the Court of Versailles (1778–1792)

Relations between the United States and the French Court of Versailles were established in 1778 with the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. As a republic, the United States was not entitled to send an ambassador. Instead, relations were maintained at the lower diplomatic rank of Minister. The position was formally known as the Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Benjamin Franklin September 14, 1778 March 23, 1779 May 17, 1785
Thomas Jefferson March 10, 1785 May 17, 1785 September 26, 1789
William Short April 20, 1790 June 14, 1790 May 15, 1792
Gouverneur Morris January 12, 1792 June 3, 1792 April 9, 1794 Remained as Minister after the First Republic was proclaimed. Mission terminated when the French government requested his recall.

Ministers to the First Republic (1792–1804)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
James Monroe May 28, 1794 August 15, 1794 December 9, 1796
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney September 9, 1796 Not presented February 5, 1797

Diplomatic relations were broken in 1796 due to French anger at U.S. neutrality in the War of the First Coalition. After the Directory refused to accept Charles Cotesworth Pinckney's credentials, a commission was appointed to negotiate with the French Republic. The members of the commission — Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry — were all accredited with the rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.[1] French officials demanded a bribe before they would commence negotiations, scuttling the mission in the XYZ Affair. Hostilities culminated in the outbreak of the Quasi-War between the U.S. and France. Diplomatic relations were restored with the Convention of 1800.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Robert R. Livingston October 2, 1801 December 6, 1801 November 18, 1804 Remained as Minister after Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed emperor.

James Monroe was accredited Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Republic in 1803 to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase.[2] However, Robert Livingston remained chief of mission.

Ministers to the First Empire (1804–1814)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
John Armstrong June 30, 1804 November 18, 1804 September 14, 1810
Joel Barlow February 27, 1811 November 17, 1811 December 26, 1812 Died in Żarnowiec during the French retreat from Moscow.
William H. Crawford April 9, 1813 December 14, 1813
August 16, 1814
April 26, 1815 to April 30, 1815 Reaccredited to the Court of Versailles.

Ministers to the Court of Versailles (1814–1830)

The Congress of Vienna standardized the system of diplomatic ranks. The United States continued to send a Minister, who was officially credentialed as an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary.

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Albert Gallatin February 28, 1815 July 16, 1816 May 16, 1823
James Brown December 9, 1823 April 13, 1824 June 28, 1829
William Cabell Rives April 18, 1829 October 25, 1829
January 14, 1831
September 27, 1832 Reaccredited to the Kingdom of France.

Ministers to the Kingdom of France (1830–1848)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
Edward Livingston May 29, 1833 September 30, 1833 April 29, 1835
Lewis Cass October 4, 1836 December 1, 1836 November 12, 1842
William R. King April 9, 1844 July 1, 1844 September 15, 1846
Richard Rush March 3, 1847 July 31, 1847
April 26, 1848
October 8, 1849 Reaccredited to the Second Republic.

Ministers to the Second Republic (1848–1852)

Name Appointment Presentation Termination Notes
William Cabell Rives July 20, 1849 November 8, 1849
January 10, 1853
May 12, 1853 Reaccredited to the Second Empire.

Ministers to France

Ambassadors to the Third Republic

Ambassadors to the Fourth Republic

Ambassadors to the Fifth Republic

See also


  1. Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth; Gerry, Elbridge; Marshall, John (1798). Authentic Copies of the Correspondence of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry, Esqrs. Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary to the Republic of France: As Presented to Both Houses of Congress, April 3, 1798, by His Excellency John Adams. J. Derrett. p. 62. The undersigned Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the French Republic, had the honour of announcing to you officially, on the 6th of October, their arrival at Paris, and of presenting to you on the 8th, a copy of their letters of credence.
  2. "Image 906 of James Monroe Papers: Series 1, General Correspondence, 1758-1839; 1796 Mar. 22-1803 Oct. 8 (Reel 2)". The Library of Congress.
  3. "Ambassadors and Chiefs of Mission – FAQs – About Us – Office of the Historian".
  4. Knowlton, Brian (August 16, 2009). "New U.S. Envoy Takes Up Post". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2009.
  5. "Ambassador Charles Rivkin permanently departed post on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 following his nomination by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs". Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  6. "Our Charge D'Affairs Ad Interim". US Embassy to France. Retrieved May 2, 2014.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website (U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets).

Further reading

  • Willson, Beckles. America's Ambassadors to France (1777-1927): A Narrative of Franco-American Diplomatic Relations (1928).
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