Born and raised in Union, South Carolina, Howard F. Jeter had a distinguished 27-year career in the Foreign Service, mostly serving in Africa. Over the course of his career, Jeter served as the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and State Department Director of West African Affairs. He also served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Envoy to Liberia and Ambassador to Botswana. Jeter had other assignments in Mozambique, Tanzania, Lesotho, and Namibia. .
He lived and worked in Africa for more than 18 years, and upon his retirement from the U.S. State Department in 2003, Jeter began working with a prominent international business and advisory consulting group in Washington, D.C. He then served as interim president of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation and chaired the United States Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee on Africa. Jeter has served on the board of directors of Houston-based ERHC Energy, Inc. and most recently was appointed to the board of directors of Oracle Energy, based in Toronto.
Jeter graduated as valedictorian from Sims High School in Union. He later graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse College and earned a Master’s degree from Columbia University and a Master’s degree in African Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Jeter has earned numerous awards and commendations including the Presidential Meritorious Service Award, Morehouse College’s Bennie Trailblazer Award and the International Peace and Justice Award from the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, founded and headed by Reverend Jesse Jackson.
He has also served on many boards of directors and prominent advisory boards, including Africare and the Morehouse College Andrew Young Global Leadership Center. In Nigeria, he served on the International Advisory Boards of the Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development, and he has worked with several universities as an advisor and on fellowship selection committees.
Jeter and his wife, Donice have two adult children.