Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard Sworn In as New U.S. Permanent Representative to the African Union

Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard (left)
Photo: State Department

Washington, DC
August 9, 2016

On Friday August 5, 2016 Mary Beth Leonard was sworn in as the new U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Stated with the Rank of Ambassador. The ceremony was officiated by Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, Heather Higginbottom.

About Ambassador Leonard

Mary Beth Leonard, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, previously served as the U.S. Department of State Faculty Advisor, U.S. Naval War College, Rhode Island (2015-2016). Her recent service as Ambassador to Mali (2011-2014), Deputy Chief of Mission to Mali (2006-2009), and Director of the Office of West African Affairs (2009-2011) demonstrated her ability to guide interagency programs and proved pivotal to making the U.S. a leading partner in supporting democratization, development, security sector reform, peacekeeping, and good governance. Ms. Leonard’s deep understanding of the region, bridging long academic interest in African studies through numerous African assignments, makes her uniquely qualified to serve as Ambassador to the African Union.

Previously, Ms. Leonard served as the Department’s Diplomat in Residence, Tufts University (2014-2015), Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Paramaribo, Suriname (2004-2006), and as Deputy Principal Officer, U.S. Consulate General Cape Town, South Africa (1999-2003). She worked as Regional Desk Officer, Office of Southern African Affairs (1998), Economic and Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Lomé, Togo (1996-1998), and Desk Officer for Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea (1994-1995) and Zaire (1995-1996 ), Office of Central African Affairs. Earlier assignments included as a Watch Officer, Operations Center, and Consular and Economic Officer at U.S. Embassies in Namibia and Cameroon. Before joining the Foreign Service, she was an Analyst with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Ms. Leonard earned a B.A. from Boston University, Magna Cum Laude (1984), a M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (1998), and a M.A. with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College (2004). Her numerous Department of State awards include the 2013 Diplomacy for Human Rights Award. Her languages are French, Spanish, Afrikaans, and Dutch.

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