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Incoming US envoy has track record in Africa

By Taddeo Bwambale

Added 21st November 2019 10:58 AM

Brown is expected to take over office from Deborah Malac, who has been the US top diplomat in Uganda since February 27, 2016.

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Incoming US ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown.

Brown is expected to take over office from Deborah Malac, who has been the US top diplomat in Uganda since February 27, 2016.

DIPLOMACY

Diplomat, dog-lover, shoe collector: that’s how the incoming US ambassador to Uganda, Natalie Brown, describes herself on Twitter.

Brown is expected to take over office from Deborah Malac, who has been the US top diplomat in Uganda since February 27, 2016.

When contacted by New Vision, the US Mission in Kampala yesterday said Brown’s posting to Uganda awaits approval of the US senate.

“Although President Trump has nominated Natalie Brown to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, this nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate which has not yet occurred. Until such time, we cannot and will not speculate on her arrival in Uganda, nor will we comment further about her,” spokesperson Phil Dimon stated in an email to New Vision.

Brown’s service record indicates that she holds vast experience as a senior foreign service officer in Africa and the Middle East.

She has served as the Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea, since 2016. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Permanent Representative and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome, Italy from 2013 to 2016. 

According to a Certificate of Demonstrated Competence submitted to the US Senate for her nomination to the position, Brown also served as Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S Embassy Tunis, Tunisia, from 2010 to 2013. 

“In a career that has spanned almost three decades, she has garnered experience in both bilateral and multilateral diplomacy with a strong focus on Africa. That experience, coupled with her distinguished record of leadership, make her an excellent candidate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda,” the citation reads.

On social media, Brown exudes free spirit and a penchant for the creative arts. She holds a bachelor of science degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Washington and a master of science degree from the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico. 

Her profile indicates that she has received numerous State Department awards for outstanding performance.  She is described as ‘a capable linguist,’ who speaks French and Arabic and has studied Italian, German, Amharic, and Tigrinya.

Brown served as the Economic Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan and as the Political Chief of the U.S. Embassy Kuwait City, Kuwait. 

In Washington, she served as a Senior Watch Officer in the State Department Executive Secretariat’s Operations Center and as an International Affairs Officer in the Office of UN Political Affairs in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, according to the profile. 

Prior to the roles, she was the State Department’s Desk Officer for Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger in the Office of West African Affairs. 

She also had assignments overseas in the U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the U.S Embassy Conakry, Guinea.

Malac, whom Brown is slated to replace, has her own record of achievements as a member of the Senior Foreign Service since 1981 and in Africa where she has spent considerable time.

Prior to her posting to Uganda, she was the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, a position she held after serving as Director of the Office of East African Affairs at the State Department in Washington.

She was formerly the Director of the Mid-Level Division in the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources. 

Malac also previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and prior to that as Deputy Director in the Office of East African Affairs; Deputy Director in the Office of Agricultural, Biotechnology, and Textiles Trade Affairs and political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.

She has also served as a political officer in Bangkok, Thailand and Pretoria, South Africa; desk officer for South Africa and Laos; officer-in-charge of the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs; and as a consular/economic officer in Yaounde, Cameroon, according to her US State Department profile.

Malac holds a degree in international studies (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Furman University, a masters degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a master of science degree in national resources strategy (Distinguished Graduate) from the National Defense University (2002). She spent a year studying international law at the University of Basel on a post-graduate fellowship under the auspices of the Fulbright Foundation.  She also speaks French, German, and Thai.

Brown will become the 19th US ambassador to Uganda since 1963 when the two countries established formal diplomatic relations after the latter’s independence.

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