Brandon H. Grove Jr., a Foreign Service officer for 35 years, served as ambassador to the African country then known as Zaire, among many other positions and assignments. (Family Photo)

Brandon H. Grove Jr., a Foreign Service officer for 35 years who served as ambassador to the African country then known as Zaire, director of the Foreign Service Institute and a leader of a 1992 task force to alleviate a humanitarian crisis in Somalia, died May 20 at home in Washington. He was 87.

The cause was complications from cancer, said a son, Paul Grove.

From 1974 to 1976, Mr. Grove was the chargé d’affaires and deputy chief of mission at the first U.S. embassy to open in East Germany. He was consul general in Jerusalem from 1980 to 1983, a period that included Israel’s war with Lebanon.

He was then nominated for ambassador to Kuwait, but the Kuwaiti government refused to accept him because of his previous service in Jerusalem, declaring that to do so would amount to acceptance of the Israeli annexation of parts of Jerusalem.

Instead he was posted to Zaire, where he served as ambassador from 1984 to 1987 during the autocratic reign of Mobutu Sese Seko. (The country is now called Congo.)

Brandon Hambright Grove Jr. was born in Chicago on April 8, 1929. He graduated in 1950 from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., and in 1952, he received a master’s degree in public administration from Princeton University.

He served in the Navy and then, in 1959, joined the Foreign Service. In Washington, he was assigned to various advisory and oversight bureaus for U.S. relations and policies in specific geographical areas around the world.

As director of the Foreign Service Institute from 1988 to 1992, he supervised training practices for foreign assignments.

After retiring in 1994, he served on the boards of directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, and Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

His marriage to Marie Cheremeteff Abernethy ended in divorce. His second wife, Mariana Moran Grove, whom he married in 1988, died in 2006.

Survivors include four children from his first marriage, John Grove of Boston, Catherine Jones and Paul Grove, both of Bethesda, and Mark Grove of Los Angeles and Washington; a stepdaughter, Michele Parsons of New York City; and seven grandchildren.