United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 30 May 2019 the appointment of James Swan of the United States as his Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). He will succeed Nicholas Haysom of South Africa to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for his dedicated service in UNSOM and Somalia at a challenging time.
Mr. Swan is an experienced diplomat with a long international career in the United States Government. He spent most of his career in African countries facing complex political transitions. He served as Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2013 to 2016, US Special Representative for Somalia from 2011 to 2013, and Ambassador to Djibouti from 2008 to 2011.
In his earlier career, Mr. Swan served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2006 to 2008, and Director of African Analysis in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 2005 to 2006. Prior to these, Mr. Swan held various assignments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Somalia, Cameroon, Nicaragua and Haiti.
Mr. Swan holds a B.Sc. degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a Master’s degree in Security Studies from the National War College.