December 5, 2022

Troy Fitrell is U.S. Ambassador to Guinea as West African nation looks to transition toward democracy

Troy Fitrell is U.S. Ambassador to Guinea
Troy Fitrell is U.S. Ambassador to Guinea

Troy Fitrell has served as the United States ambassador to Guinea since January of 2022. His leadership is of incredible importance as Guinea looks to transition toward an elected democracy.

In September of 2021, Guinean President Alpha Condé, the first elected head of state in the nation’s history, was overthrown via a military coup d’état. While the United States had expressed concerns over “democratic backsliding” during Condé’s presidency, it condemned the coup d’état.

The former president, Alpha Condé, received widespread criticism for changing Guinea’s constitution to allow himself a third term in power. Special forces commander Mamady Doumbouya, who was a key leader in the 2021 coup d’état, is now acting President of the transitional government. 

While Guinea’s military-led transitional council has promised a transition to democratic elections and civilian rule in the future, a specific date or timeline has yet to be determined. A proposed 39 month transitional period was rejected by opposition parties in May and leaders from the Economic Community of West African States have rejected a three year time period, asserting that Guinea will face economic sanctions if a new timetable is not proposed soon.

As the United States’ top diplomat to Guinea, Ambassador Troy Fitrell holds profoundly important responsibilities. Guinea is at a very critical point in its political development. As it works toward transitioning into democracy, a productive and cooperative relationship with the United States is more important now than ever.

If the United States is to stand up for democracy around the world as President Biden’s administration has consistently claimed, helping Guinea transition into a free, fair, and democratically elected republic should be a top diplomatic priority.

“U.S. policy seeks to help Guinea to rapidly hold free and fair elections that quickly return Guinea to constitutional, civilian-led, democracy,” says the United States Department of State.

While it has only been five months since Ambassador Fitrell began his duties as U.S. Ambassador to Guinea, he is a career member of the foreign service and is seasoned in diplomacy with African nations.

Most recently he was the Director of the Office of West African Affairs at the Department of State. Previously, he has served at U.S. embassies in Ethiopia, Mauritius, Zambia, and Ghana as well as in Portugal, Guatemala, and Denmark.

Fitrell has also held prestigious diplomatic positions including Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Southern African Affairs, Deputy Director of the Office of International Security Cooperation in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and Senior Advisor to the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes of Africa.

Ambassador Fitrell is very well educated, holding a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree from the National War College.

“We emphasized our support for the right to civil, peaceful protest. We urge the Transition Government to return Guinea quickly to civilian-led democracy through a transparent and consultative process,” said the U.S. Bureau of African affairs following a late June meeting between Ambassador Fitrell, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Erv Massinga, and several of Guinea’s political leaders.

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