Leonard, Mary Beth - African Union - April 2016



SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of
Demonstrated Competence -- Foreign Service
Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST: African Union

CANDIDATE: Mary Beth Leonard

Mary Beth Leonard, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served since 2015 as the U.S. Department of State Faculty Advisor, U.S. Naval War College, Rhode Island. 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.