Peter Tomsen


Peter Tomsen
Born (1940-11-19) November 19, 1940 (age 79)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Nationality United States
Alma mater Wittenberg University
University of Pittsburgh
Occupation Foreign Service
Years active 1967–1998

Peter Tomsen (born November 19, 1940), is a retired American diplomat and educator, serving as United States Special Envoy to Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992,[1] and United States Ambassador to Armenia between 1995 and 1998.[2][3][4][5] Ambassador Tomsen’s thirty-two year diplomatic career emphasized South and Central Asia, Northeast Asia and the former Soviet Union.

Early life

Although born in Cleveland, Ohio, Peter Tomsen graduated from Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended college at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, receiving a degree in political science in 1962. Tomsen was awarded a Heinz fellowship for post-graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Receiving his master's degree in public and international affairs, Tomsen spent two years working in the Peace Corps in Nepal.[6] Tomsen studied Nepali and taught civics and English in a newly founded 80-student college in a Himalayan town in western Nepal. Tomsen chose to extend his Peace Corps service for six months to be headmaster of a Tibetan refugee school.

Diplomatic and political career

Ambassador Tomsen entered the Foreign Service in 1967. He served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 1993 - 1995, and was United States ambassador to Armenia from 1995 to 1998.[7] He was deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, spanning from 1985 to 1989. He served in the political-military office of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, 1967 - 1968. After a year of Vietnamese language training in Washington in early 1969, he was assigned to the U.S. Civilian-Military Advisory Organization in Vietnam, 1969 - 1970. He was a political officer of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, 1971 - 1975; a political officer of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, 1977 - 1978; and a political officer of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, 1981 - 1983. From 1984 to 1987, he served in the Department of State as office director of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives.[8]
1989-1992: US Special Envoy to Afghanistan.[better source needed][1]

Selected works

  • Tomsen, Peter (July 12, 2011). The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-763-8.[9][10]
  • Tomsen, Peter (December 2000 – February 2001). "Geopolitics of an Afghan Settlement". Perceptions, Journal of International Affairs. 5 (4). Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.


  1. ^ a b Tomsen, Peter (December 12, 2001). "Stabilizing post-Taliban Afghanistan".
  2. ^ Gutman, Roy (2008). How we missed the story: Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and the hijacking of Afghanistan. US Institute of Peace Press. p. 30. ISBN 1-60127-024-0. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  3. ^ Kleveman, Lutz (2004). The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia. Grove Press. p. 246. ISBN 0-8021-4172-2. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  4. ^ The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks. Cosimo, Inc. 2010. pp. 483 (note). Retrieved July 28, 2011.CS1 maint: others (link)
  5. ^ Mukarji, Apratim (2003). Afghanistan, from terror to freedom. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 59. ISBN 81-207-2542-5. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  6. ^ "Peter Tomsen, Ambassador in Residence" (PDF). Center for Afghanistan Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha. 2005. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  7. ^ "U.S.-Armenian Relations 1991-2006: A Conversation with Our First Five Ambassadors" US Library of Congress Video archive of 13th annual Vardanants Day lecture program
  8. ^ Bush, George (June 5, 1989). "Accordance of the Personal Rank of Ambassador to Peter Tomsen While Serving as Special Envoy to the Afghan Resistance". White House.
  9. ^ "The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers". Kirkus Reviews. May 15, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  10. ^ Silverman, Jerry Mark. "The Wars of Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and The Failures of Great Powers". New York Journal of Books. Retrieved July 28, 2011.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Harry J. Gilmore
United States Ambassador to Armenia
Succeeded by
Michael Craig Lemmon

Other Languages