Ambassador Eric Benjaminson served 32 years in the U.S. diplomatic service, retiring in 2013 as the U.S. Ambassador to Gabon and Sao Tome & Principe and to the Central African Economic Community. Previous to that assignment, he was Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy to Canada; Acting U.S. Ambassador to Namibia; and Deputy Head of Mission in Burkina Faso. At various times, he also served in Nigeria, China, Ivory Coast, and Brussels.
Eric currently serves as Senior Adviser for Global Partnerships at the University of Oregon in the U.S., and manages the university’s Gabon-Oregon Center for Transnational Research on Sustainable Development. He also works as a consultant to international investors and energy companies entering or doing business in West and Central Africa.
Eric was awarded a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State and the Grand Cross of the Equatorial Order of Gabon. He was also Melvin Hill Visiting Professor of the Humanities at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York State. He has an honors degree in history from the University of Oregon and certificates from the U.S. Department of State in Chinese language and international economics. He speaks French and Russian.