Ambassador Robert E. Whitehead retired in December, 2016 after a 33-year career in the United States Department of State. His final posting was U.S. Ambassador to the Togolese Republic. Prior to that he served as Chief of Mission/Charge d'affaires in Khartoum, Republic of Sudan from 2009-2012 and as the first U.S. Consul General in Juba, South Sudan in 2006. During his career. Whitehead served in an array of positions in mostly African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (then called Zaire), Zambia and Zimbabwe. He undertook assignments of varying length in four other Central Africa countries, including a period as Charge in Kigali, Rwanda in 1994 after the civil war.
Whitehead also served in Romania, Guyana and Belize and was twice the Director of the African Office of Intelligence and Research and was once as Senior Inspector in the Office of the Inspector General. Ambassador Whitehead received a B.A. at Taylor University and an M.A. as a university fellow at Southern Illinois University. He also attended the IFCADD language school in Brussels, Belgium. In the late 1970s he was a volunteer professor and subsequently a Fulbright Lecturer at the (then) National University of Zaire campus in Bukavu, Kivu Province. He is fluent in French and Romanian.
Over the span of his career, he received the Department's Meritorious and Superior Honor wards. In retirement, he has remained on the active rolls of the Department of State and has served stints as Charge d'affaries in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. When not working, he resides in Ft. Pierce, FL with his wife Agathe and enjoys sports, reading, writing and volunteer work in continuing adult education. The Whiteheads have a son, Wesley, who is employed by the Department of State.