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Mary Beth Leonard, a native of Massachusetts, was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Mali on November 7, 2011. Her two previous assignments were as Director for West African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bamako, Mali.
After joining the State Department in 1988, Ambassador Leonard served overseas as an economic and consular officer in Yaoundé, Cameroon; Windhoek, Namibia; and Lome, Togo. She also worked in the Department’s Operations Center and in its Office of Central African Affairs. She then served as political and economic officer in Cape Town, South Africa and thereafter as Deputy Chief of Mission in Paramaribo, Suriname.
Ambassador Leonard graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Boston University, with a major in economics and minor in French. In 1988, she earned a master’s degree in international relations, with an emphasis on African studies, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. In 2004, she graduated from the U.S. Naval War College with distinction.
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