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Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard

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Monday, June 3, 2013 

Worcester Club

Mary Beth Leonard, American Ambassador to Mali

Two weeks ago the UN Security Council voted unanimously to send a 12,600 person peacekeeping operation to Mali to take over from the much smaller African mission now operating there.   Taking note of the recent successes in pacifying Somalia, their core task will be to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). A key player in this hopeful development has been and will be Mary Beth Leonard, a native of Worcester who has been our ambassador to Mali since November 2011.  She had previously served there as our Deputy Chief of Mission.  Before that she was economic and consular officer in Yaoundé, Cameroon; Windhoek, Namibia; and Lome, Togo.  She also had worked in the DoS Office of Central African Affairs, and then as political and economic officer in Cape Town. After that she was Deputy Chief of Mission in Paramaribo, Suriname. Leonard graduated magna cum laude from BU, 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 School of Advanced International Studies.  We are delighted that this distinguished daughter of Worcester has agreed to be interviewed by the WWAC.

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