Susan D. Page was confirmed as the Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan on October 18, 2011. She arrived in Juba on December 6, 2011. Previously Ms. Page was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the U.S. State Department, principally covering central and southern Africa. Ms. Page is a Harvard-trained lawyer with 22 years of experience and spent 15 consecutive years working and living throughout sub-Saharan Africa. She has served as a political officer, legal advisor, and diplomat with the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the United Nations. She has testified before congressional committees, served on numerous panels and been interviewed by media outlets such as BBC (TV), Radio France International, NPR, and VOA on a range of African issues. She is a fluent French speaker.
Prior to this assignment, Ms. Page was Regional Director for Southern and East Africa at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). From 2002-2005, Ms. Page served as the legal advisor to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Secretariat for Peace in Sudan sponsored by the State Department. During this period, she was an integral member of the IGAD-led mediation process and was instrumental in negotiating and drafting key provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) for the Sudan. Thereafter, Ms. Page served as the Director of the Rule of Law and Prison Advisory Unit at the UN Mission to Sudan (UNMIS), based in Khartoum, where she provided legal and constitutional advice to the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative (SRSG) to the Sudan on the implementation of the CPA and collaborated with the African-Union led mediation team furnishing technical advice and analysis to the Darfur parties in Abuja. Ms. Page is also the recipient of several State Department honors, including a commendation for outstanding service to the Sudan Peace Process.
Before focusing on Sudan, Ms. Page headed the Justice and Human Rights Unit of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Rwanda. Earlier in Kigali, Ms. Page spent two years as the political officer at the U.S. Embassy where she served as the primary political officer in Rwanda monitoring and reporting on issues related to the war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and served as the key contact between the Embassy and the Rwandan-backed rebels, RCD-Goma; monitored the operations of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR); drafted the 1999 and 2000 U.S. State Department Human Rights Report for Rwanda; and analyzed Rwandan laws on the establishment of gacaca, a form of community based participatory justice modified to try genocide suspects.
From 1993-1998, Ms. Page was seconded from the State Department to USAID regional offices in Kenya and Botswana where she spent five years as a Regional Legal Adviser working on a variety of international legal matters in east and southern Africa.
Ms. Page received an A.B. in English with high distinction from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She has also studied at St. Andrews University in Scotland and conducted research on children and women’s rights in Nepal through a Rotary International post-graduate fellowship.