George McDade Staples was appointed by President Bill Clinton to be ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, where he served from 1998 to 2001. He was later appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as ambassador to Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. He served in that post between 2001 and 2004.
Staples was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1947. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California and an M.A. in Business from Central Michigan University. He and his wife, Jo Ann Fuson Staples, have one daughter, Catherine. The couple have a permanent home in Pineville, Kentucky.
Staples was a career member of the Foreign Service for twenty-five years. He served as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of the Bureau of Human Resources at the U.S. Department of State. He was also the Political Advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) at NATO in Belgium.
Before his appointment as ambassador to Rwanda, Staples had served in a number of other diplomatic roles, including Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrain and Zimbabwe, Senior Watch Officer in the State Department’s Operation Center, and as Senior Turkey Desk Officer in the Bureau of European Affairs during the first Gulf War in 1990-1991. His other country assignments include The Bahamas, Uruguay, and El Salvador.
Ambassador Staples has also been a National Security Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Stanford, California. Prior to joining the State Department, Staples served as a military officer in the U.S. Air Force, and as a manager in private industry. Ambassador Staples speaks French, Spanish and Turkish. He now holds the rank of largely ceremonial rank of Career Minister.