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Ambassadors are the senior diplomats representing the United States at the United Nations and other countries. The ambassador is in charge of the U.S. embassy in the country to which he is appointed. As of 2014, these senior foreign service officers' pay ranges from $120,749 to $181,500 per year, according to the Department of State.
Perks and Benefits
As with all government employees, the ambassadors’ pay is regulated by fixed salary tables. They do, though, enjoy many perks and benefits. For example, their housing is paid for, as is much of their travel. They may also be compensated more for cost of living if their appointments are in expensive places, and have many healthcare and other government-employee benefits.
Appointees and Career Diplomats
Some high-profile ambassadors are appointed by the President, while others work their way up as diplomats through the State Department. The presidential appointees may come from all walks of life; many are rewarded with ambassadorships for loyalty to the President. The career diplomats, though, are experts in international relations, and have proven themselves in representing United States interests overseas. They are often good at languages and care about helping to improve relationships between the United States and the rest of the world.
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