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#USPHThrivingAt75: Celebrating 75 Years of U.S.-Philippines Diplomatic Relations
June 9, 2021

The United States and the Philippines signed the Treaty of Manila on July 4, 1946, recognizing the independence of the Philippines.  The United States established diplomatic relations with the Philippines on the same day when American Ambassador Paul V. McNutt presented his credentials.

U.S.-Philippines relations are founded on strong historical and cultural linkages and a shared commitment to democracy and human rights.  The 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, formalized our robust security partnership, an alliance forged on the battlefield in World War II.

Strong people-to-people and economic ties form the bedrock of bilateral cooperation.  We engage on these issues continuously, including through the U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, a forum for forward planning across the spectrum of our relationship.

A multitude of programs aim to strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and the Philippines, including the longest continuously-running Fulbright program in the world, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.  This year, we also mark the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps volunteer program in the Philippines.

The United States is proud to be one of the largest economic partners of the Philippines, serving as the country’s third largest trading partner with a two-way trade of $16 billion and third largest source of net FDI inflows at $161 million in 2020.  American firms are the largest electronics and semi-conductor exporters in the country and serve as some of the largest private employers.  The American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines has over 600 members and is one of the oldest business chambers in the world, with U.S. firms like Citibank, Ford, and Bank of America operating in the Philippines since the early 1900s.

There are more than four million U.S. citizens of Philippine ancestry in the United States, and more than 350,000 U.S. citizens in the Philippines, including a large number of United States military veterans.

The American Cemetery in Manila is the largest American military cemetery outside the United States, serving as the final resting place for over 17,000 U.S. and Philippine servicemen and women.

Assistance and Partnerships

Over the years, the United States has consistently partnered with the Philippines to create economic opportunities for both countries, bolster joint military capacity and readiness, and advance shared education and development goals.  For example:

  • As of October 2020, total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines amounted to more than Php1.1 billion ($23.4 million). The United States is also the largest contributor to the COVAX vaccine facility with $2 billion of an eventual $4 billion commitment donated, of which the Philippines is a beneficiary.  (Fact Sheet)
  • The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region. Since 2015, the United States has delivered more than Php57 billion ($1.14 billion) worth of planes, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment and training to the Philippines. (Fact Sheet)
  • The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, partners with the Philippines to drive inclusive economic growth, promote peace and stability, and build self-reliance by strengthening the Philippines’s ability to plan, finance and implement its own development solutions. Over the past 20 years alone, the United States has provided nearly Php228.8 billion ($4.5 billion) in total assistance.  (https://www.usaid.gov/philippines).

U.S. Chiefs of Mission for the Philippines

To date, there have been 28 U.S. Chiefs of Mission since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

NameTitleDate of Assignment
Paul Vories McNuttAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryJuly 4, 1946–March 22, 1947
Emmet O’NealAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiarySeptember 22, 1947–April 28, 1948
Myron Melvin CowenAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryMay 23, 1949–October 14, 1951
Raymond Ames SpruanceAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryFebruary 7, 1952–April 1, 1955
Homer FergusonAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryApril 12, 1955–March 23, 1956
Albert Frank NuferAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryJuly 20, 1956–November 6, 1956
Charles Eustis BohlenAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryJune 4, 1957–October 15, 1959
John Dewey HickersonAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryJanuary 13, 1960–December 8, 1961
William Edwards StevensonAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryFebruary 5, 1962–June 14, 1964
William McCormick Blair Jr.Ambassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryAugust 5, 1964–October 21, 1967
Gerhard Mennen WilliamsAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryJune 17, 1968–April 7, 1969
Henry Alfred ByroadeAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryAugust 29, 1969–May 25, 1973
William Healy SullivanAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryAugust 6, 1973–April 26, 1977
David Dunlap NewsomAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryNovember 11, 1977–March 30, 1978
Richard William MurphyAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryJune 8, 1978–August 10, 1981
Michael Hayden ArmacostAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryMarch 12, 1982–April 18, 1984
Stephen Warren BosworthAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryMay 4, 1984–April 2, 1987
Nicholas PlattAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryAugust 27, 1987–July 20, 1991
Frank G. Wisner IIAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryAugust 16, 1991–June 10, 1992
Richard H. SolomonAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiarySeptember 4, 1992–March 1, 1993
John Dimitri NegroponteAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryOctober 26, 1993–August 5, 1996
Thomas C. HubbardAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiarySeptember 3, 1996–July 24, 2000
Michael E. MalinowskiChargé d’Affaires, ad interimJuly 2000 – September 2001
Robert W. FittsChargé d’Affaires, ad interimSeptember 2001 – August 2005
Francis Joseph RicciardoneAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryMay 15, 2002 – April 1, 2005
Joseph A. MussomeliChargé d’Affaires, ad interimApril 3, 2005 – August 2005
Darryl N. JohnsonChargé d’Affaires, ad interimAugust 2005 – March 22, 2006
Kristie Ann KenneyAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryMarch 22, 2006–July 28, 2009
Harry Keels Thomas Jr.Ambassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryApril 27, 2010–October 16, 2013
Philip S. GoldbergAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryDecember 2, 2013–October 28, 2016
Sung Y. KimAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryDecember 6, 2016–October 4, 2020
John C. LawChargé d’Affaires, ad interimOctober 4, 2020 – September 2021
Heather VariavaChargé d’Affaires, ad interimSeptember 10, 2021 – July 20, 2022
MaryKay L. CarlsonAmbassador Extraordinary and PlenipotentiaryJuly 21, 2022 – present


  • U.S. Relations with the Philippines (state.gov)
  • A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Philippines (state.gov)
  • Chiefs of Mission for Philippines (history.state.gov)