THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES JAMES VELA LEDESMA AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE GABONESE REPUBLIC AND TO THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
The President today announced his intent to nominate James Vela Ledesma to be U.S. Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.
Mr. James Vela Ledesma, of Monterey, California, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, joined the Foreign Service in l972. He has subsequently served as Vice Consul at the American Embassies in Beirut, Lebanon and Algiers, Algeria. In l980, he was assigned to Paris, France as a member of the US Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, followed by three years as Economic Officer in Reykjavik, Iceland. In l987, Mr. Ledesma worked in Washington, D.C., in the State Department's Bureau of Personnel and later as Deputy Director of the Office of East African Affairs. In l992, Mr. Ledesma took up the position of Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Accra, Ghana, followed in l995 by an assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission in Dakar, Senegal.
Mr. Ledesma attended Monterey Peninsula College. Following three years in the US Army, he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Political Science in l968, and a Master's degree in International Relations in 1970, both from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He speaks Spanish and French.