U.S. Ambassador Victor Ashe, the former mayor of Knoxville, was in town last week and told friends he would continue in Poland for some time, until the Obama administration gets around to sending over his replacement. That makes Ashe the dean of current ambassadors. He has served the longest in one post of all ambassadors now serving, since other Bush appointees resigned inauguration day.
There are career foreign service officers who have served more years—just not in the same post.
Ashe was honored with a resolution in the state Senate, where he once served, and he joked that when he left after a tumultuous tenure, no one thought it likely he would be back 25 years later to be honored as a "diplomat." Knoxnews.com's Humphrey on the Hill blog reports that Ashe observed that when he left the state Senate they were discussing wine in grocery stores and the election of the state Attorney General, two issues that remain alive today.