Born in Washington, D.C. in 1953, Teddy Bernard Taylor graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Florida A&M University in 1975. During his time in Tallahassee, Taylor became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
In 1978, Taylor began his diplomatic career. His first position was a Consular/Economic Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. After working there for two years, Taylor was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Panama, where he served as a Consular Officer in the capital, Panama City, from 1981 to 1983. While in Panama City, Taylor coached a basketball team of 13-15 year olds in the former Panama Canal Zone. From 1983 to 1985, Taylor worked at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
When he returned to the United States in 1985, Taylor was appointed Deputy Director of Press and Public Affairs in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. State Department. In 1987, he became Deputy Political Officer for Latin America at the United States Information Agency (USIA). From 1988 to 1991, Taylor served as Deputy Director for East Asian and Pacific Assignments at the Bureau of Human Resources in the State Department and then from 1991 to 1992, he held the position of Deputy Examiner in the Board of Foreign Service Examiners at the Bureau of Human Resources. He then served as the Special Assistant in the Visa Services Office in the Bureau of Consular Affairs from 1992 to 1993.
For four years beginning in 1995, Taylor worked as the Consular Officer at the United States Embassy in Budapest, Hungary. During his time in Hungary, Taylor served as the Chairperson of the Cub and Boy Scouts and was a merit badge instructor and Chairman of the Eagle Scout Board Review Committee. In recognition of his innovative leadership at the embassy, Taylor received the State Department’s Barbara Watson Award for Consular Excellence.
In 2001, Taylor became the first African American Director of the U.S. Foreign Service Institute located in Arlington, Virginia. He was then named Consul General at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba. From 2001 to 2003, Taylor served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Director of the Office of Employee Relations in the Bureau of Human Resources. He participated in the State Department’s Senior Seminar Leadership Development Program.
On September 21, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Taylor to be the United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea. His appointment also included United States Embassies in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. During his tenure in Papua New Guinea, Taylor and his wife, fellow Foreign Service officer Antoinette Corbin-Taylor, partnered with Delta Sigma Theta, her college sorority, to develop the first mobile library service in that nation. He also worked on programs that increased the economic productivity and power of women.
Ambassador Taylor returned to the United States in October 2012 and is currently a U.S. State Department Diplomat-in Residence at Howard University. He and his wife have two children. He speaks Spanish, Turkish, and Hungarian.