Robinson McIlvaine

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Died in 2001: "Born in Downingtown, Pa., Mr. McIlvaine graduated from Harvard College; owned a newspaper, The Archive, in Downingtown; became active in Republican politics; and was deputy assistant secretary of state for public affairs before holding overseas diplomatic and consular posts most of the time from 1956 until his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1973. He served in Portugal, Congo and Dahomey, now Benin, before Guinea, where he remained until 1969, and finally in Kenya. He acquired the rank of career minister." [1]

"A specialist in African affairs, McIlvaine served as Consul General in the Congo and ambassador to Dahomey (now Benin), Guinea, and Kenya. He had previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Lisbon, Director of the Inter-Departmental Seminar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, and Chairman of the U.S. Section of the Caribbean Commission.

"Two days after his arrival as Ambassador in Conakry, Guinea, McIlvaine and all other Americans in the country were put under house arrest by the Marxist president, Ahmed Sekou Toure, in retaliation for the kidnapping of the Guinean foreign minister from a Pan Am plane by Ghanaian authorities in Accra. The U.S. came close to breaking diplomatic relations with Guinea but in the end, after two weeks of negotiations and the help of three African foreign ministers, McIlvaine was able to resolve the controversy and get an apology from President Toure.

"Retiring from the Foreign Service in 1973, McIlvaine headed the African Wildlife Leadership Foundation's (now African Wildlife Foundation) Nairobi office for two years before returning to Washington to be President of the organization until 1982. He covered ten African countries on a regular basis in a small Cessna aircraft developing and keeping track of projects. One of the most successful was the consortium he formed to protect the threatened mountain gorilla population of Rwanda."[2]

McIlvaine was Consul General at Leopoldville in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1960 to 1961. In 1969 McIlvaine left Guinea and was appointed Ambassador to Kenya, holding this position until he retired in 1973. interview

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