Diplomacy Classroom: Eugenie Anderson and Cold War Diplomacy
In 1949, Eugenie Anderson (1909-1997) became the first American woman to be an ambassador when President Harry S Truman appointed her to be ambassador to Denmark. Following her highly successful tour in Denmark, President John F. Kennedy appointed her to be U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria in 1962, making her the first American woman to serve as ambassador to a Soviet-allied country behind the Iron Curtain. Among her remarkable achievements, Anderson was also a pioneer in people-to-people diplomacy, placing special emphasis on meeting directly with citizens of the host countries where she served.
Eugenie Anderson, America’s first female ambassador, was a pioneering practitioner of people-to-people diplomacy, which she called “people’s diplomacy.” As U.S. Ambassador to Denmark from 1949 to 1953 and U.S. Minister to Bulgaria from 1962 to 1964, Anderson engaged with the public to promote trade and strengthen economic ties.