Office of the Spokesman
January 14, 2009
Ambassador Ruth A. Davis Honored at State Flag Ceremony
After 40 years of exemplary service at the Department of State, Ambassador Ruth A. Davis was honored at an official Flag Ceremony on January 14, 2009. She is the longest serving Career Ambassador and the highest ranking Foreign Service Officer. Throughout her distinguished career, Ambassador Davis has sought to make the Foreign Service more diverse and representative of the United States. She has served as the Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff in the Africa Bureau since 2005, and previously held the positions of Ambassador to Benin, Director General of the Foreign Service, and Director of the Foreign Service Institute. Ambassador Davis will retire on February 11, 2009. Released on January 14, 2009
Ambassador Davis led the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative as Director General of the Foreign Service from 2001 to 2003, which increased Foreign Service Officer staffing by 1,158 positions, better enabling the Department to meet the foreign policy challenges of the 21st century. During her tenure, she was able to increase the number of minorities pursuing careers in the Foreign Service.
From 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Davis served as the Director of the Foreign Service Institute where she established the Leadership and Management School that brought about a change in the Foreign Service culture by improving attitudes about the utility of training. She also enhanced crisis management, distance learning, and training opportunities for Foreign Service Nationals.
Ambassador Davis joined the Foreign Service in 1969 and was assigned as a Consular Officer in Kinshasa, Zaire. She has had assignments at the State Department that have included Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, Consul General in Barcelona, Spain, and consular assignments in Nairobi, Kenya, Tokyo, Japan, and Naples, Italy. She has also been a Pearson Fellow working as Special Advisor for International Affairs for the Washington, DC Municipal Government and Distinguished Advisor for International affairs at Howard University.