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DAS Melanie Higgins

Melanie Harris Higgins is currently serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, covering portfolios that include U.S. policy engagement in southern Africa as well as regional peace and security programs across sub-Saharan Africa. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, who recently completed an assignment as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi from 2021-2023. From 2018-2020, she was the Director of the Office of Central African Affairs (AF/C). She previously served as Principal Officer and Consul General at the U.S. Consulate-General in Auckland, New Zealand and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Amb. Higgins has also served in the U.S. Embassies in Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia, and Cameroon, and has worked in the State Department’s Operations Center, as Acting Public Affairs Advisor in the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, and as the Thailand Desk Officer. Amb. Higgins joined the Foreign Service in 1998 and is married to a Diplomatic Security Special Agent. She speaks Indonesian and French, attended Johns Hopkins University, and received an M.A. from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future