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Message from Ambassador Beeman:

When I took up my duties as United States Ambassador to New Zealand in 1994, among my goals were to strengthen the bilateral relationship and to promote increased trade and investment between our two countries. I am happy to be able to claim a certain measure of success in both these goals. The generous warmth of New Zealanders, combined with a willingness to engage in frank and friendly discussion, has made my task an enjoyable one.

These successes are to some extent due to remarkable similarities between our two countries - both countries have forged new identities apart from our colonial roots, both countries are immigrant societies, and both our societies are based on the rule of law and the rights and responsibilities of the individual citizen. Our common values have led the U.S. and New Zealand to stand shoulder to shoulder through every major conflict in this century. It must be admitted that we have some differences in the area of defense, but disagreements are inevitable between sovereign and independent countries, and democratic societies have the enormous advantage that they can engage in open and honest dialogue to address those disagreements.

Josiah Horton Beeman

The Ambassador heads a traditionally organized Embassy comprised of several sections: Political/Economic, Administrative, Defense, Public Diplomacy, Agriculture, and Commercial. The Consular section is based in Auckland.
During my tenure as Ambassador, I have been privileged to witness the development of a vibrant economic partnership between the United States and New Zealand. Possessing two of the most deregulated and open trading economies in the world, we have built a practical economic alliance based on a shared commitment to freeing up the global marketplace and on a common belief that freer trade and more open investment can improve the living conditions of our citizens. I am confident that our two countries will remain in the forefront of those shaping the new economic infrastructure of the coming century.

Josiah Horton Beeman, Ambassador

Biography of


Ambassador Beeman was born and raised in San Francisco. Throughout his life he has pursued his interest in government and politics as well as his commitment to the Presbyterian Church. His career has included many leadership positions in California and in Washington, D.C.

The Ambassador's involvement with the church began in 1963 when he was named Director of Education for the Northern California Council of Churches. He went on to serve as the Presbyterian Church's Secretary for International Affairs and Director of its Washington D.C. office. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, he played a major role in the Church's efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Ambassador Beeman began his governmental career as Chief of Staff to California Congressman Phillip Burton. He held that position both before and following his 1967 appointment to the Board of Supervisors of the City & County of San Francisco. In 1975, Mr. Beeman was named Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives' Democratic Caucus, then served as Director of the State of California's Washington Office. Until 1994, Mr Beeman served as President of his own government relations firm, Beeman & Associates.

Ambassador Beeman was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa in April, 1994. During his tenure, United States - New Zealand relations have markedly improved including historic visits by Prime Minister Bolger to meet with President Clinton at the White House in March, 1995. This visit marked the first time in over 12 years that New Zealand's Prime Minister had visited the White House and was followed by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley's visit in January, 1999.

Ambassador Beeman has been particularly active in promoting a closer security relationship, trade and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and the United States.

He is married to Susan Beeman and they have a daughter who was born in New Zealand, Olivia Louise (born June 8, 1999). The Ambassador enjoys reading, travel and walking, especially in pursuit of additions to his unique collection of antique walking sticks, which has been displayed in several New Zealand museums.

June 1999

The American Embassy offices are closed on U.S. & N.Z. holidays.

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