Helen La Lime

Photo of Helen La Lime
U.S. Ambassador to Angola
Term of Appointment: 05/19/2014 to present

Ambassador Helen Meagher La Lime was confirmed by the Senate as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Angola in May 2014. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, Ambassador La Lime has a wide range of policy, leadership, and management experience developed through service in Africa, the United States, and Europe.

Prior to Angola, she served as the Director of J9 (Outreach), U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where she worked on aspects of our military cooperation programs in Africa. She was Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’ Affaires in South Africa, one of the Africa Bureau’s largest missions, from 2009 to 2011, contributing to a significant partnership effort with the South African Government. She also served as Consul General in Cape Town (2006-2008), U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique (2003-2006), Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Rabat (2001-2003), and Director of the Office of Central African Affairs (2000-2001). As Ambassador to Mozambique, she directed a multi-agency program which grew significantly during her tenure. She also pursued the enhancement of the U.S. business relationships in Mozambique and in Morocco via the ratification of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement. As Director of the Office of Central African Affairs, she advanced U.S. policy initiatives during a time when much of the region faced conflict.

Previous assignments include a tour as Deputy Chief of Mission of our Embassy in N’djamena, Chad (1996-1999), a year at the National War College (1995-1996), an assignment in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs in the Department of State (1993-1995), and service as Consul General in Zurich, Switzerland (1993). She has also held a range of consular and administrative positions at U.S. Missions in Warsaw, Bern, and Stuttgart.

Ambassador La Lime joined the Foreign Service in 1980. She is a graduate of Georgetown University (B.S.) and the National Defense University (M.S.) and is the recipient of multiple Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards and the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award. She speaks French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, and Polish.