Policy & History

The United States of America has had diplomatic relations with Haiti since 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln commissioned Benjamin F. Whidden was to act as a U.S. diplomatic representative to Haiti and establish an American Legation to the country.  Haiti experienced numerous periods of intense political and economic disorder, prompting U.S. military intervention in 1915.  Following a 19-year occupation, U.S. military forces were withdrawn in 1934, and Haiti regained sovereign rule.  In 1943, following a joint declaration, relations were upgraded and the legation was elevated to an embassy.  John Campbell White was promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and presented his credentials to the Government of Haiti on March 14 of that year as the first U.S. Ambassador to Haiti.

Today, our Chief of Mission oversees a mission that includes more than a dozen U.S. government agencies.  In addition to managing the bilateral relationship between our two countries, the embassy helps American citizens in distress and works to deepen investment and trade.  The embassy is also active in the Haitian-led, international effort to rebuild the country following the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010.  To that end, the U.S. government team in Haiti is helping to strengthen governance and the rule of law, upgrade key infrastructure, ensure improved health care, and increase agricultural productivity and food security.

Please check out our press releases and embassy news and events for more information on how we are working to strengthen ties and mutual understanding and increase prosperity for the peoples of our two countries.