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Ambassador Larry Edward André Jr. — From Mauritania to Djibouti

Posted: 4:38 am ET

On September 2, President Trump announced his intent to nominate the current U.S. Embassy Nouakchott Chief of Mission Larry Edward André Jr.  to be the next Ambassador to Djibouti. The WH released the following brief bio:

Larry Edward André Jr. of Texas to be Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Djibouti. Mr. André, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, has served as an American diplomat since 1990. He is currently the United States Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Previously a two-time Deputy Chief of Mission with appointments to nine American missions abroad, mostly in Africa, Mr. André has held senior policy positions at the State Department in Washington. His excellent leadership skills and experience working closely with the U.S. military provide him expertise on the challenges and opportunities of the Horn-of-Africa region and deep understanding of the context of United States policy goals there. Mr. André earned a B.A. at Claremont McKenna College and an M.B.A. at American Graduate School of International Management.

On November 3, 2014, Ambassador Larry André presented his credentials to His Excellency President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz as Ambassador of the United States of America to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (US Embassy Mauritania/FB)

The US Embassy in Mauritania has a more detailed official bio:

Larry André, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, arrived in Mauritania on 25 September 2014.

He has served overseas as Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2008 – 2010); Political Counselor at U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya (2006 – 2008); Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Freetown, Sierra Leone (2002 – 2004); Regional Environment Officer for East Africa covering 14 countries from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2000 – 2002); and as Management Officer at U.S. Embassy Conakry, Guinea (1998 – 2000). He also served at U.S. Missions to Iraq (July – August 2005), Bangladesh (1994 – 1998), Cameroon (1992 – 1994), and Nigeria (1990 – 1992).

He has served domestically as the Director of the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan (2011 – 2013), Deputy Director of the African Affairs Bureau’s Executive Office (2010 – 2011), and as the Deputy Director of the Office of West African Affairs (2004 – 2006).

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. André worked in Chad on a refugee resettlement project (1988 – 1990) and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal (1983 – 1985).

He holds an M.B.A. from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (1988) and a B.A. in Political Science from Claremont McKenna College (1983). Mr. André speaks French fluently.

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Senate Confirmation by Crisis Continues: Hoza (Cameroon), Polaschik (Algeria), Andre (Mauritania),

— Domani Spero

 

The U.S. Senate appears to continue its trend of headline-triggered confirmations. Today, the Senate confirmed by voice votes the following ambassador to three African posts.

If you missed it, on July 27, WaPo reported that Nigerian Boko Haram militants kidnapped the wife of Cameroon’s vice prime minister. Premium Times citing BBC Hausa reported today that Security Forces in the Cameroun Republic have rescued the wife of the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Amadou Ali, who was abducted on Sunday by suspected members of the extremist Boko Haram sect.  If that’s not enough bad news, VOA also reported that an outbreak of Cholera has killed 200 in Northern Cameroon and that there are fears that this may be a repeat of the 2010 epidemic, when the country had to deal with 10,000 cases.

Ambassador-Designate Hoza also made the news recently when he was featured and quoted in WaPo’s piece, At Falls Church apartments, would-be ambassadors and families live in limbo. The three other nominees cited in that article, Donald Lu (Albania), Eric Schultz (Zambia), and Amy Hyatt (Palau) are not currently scheduled for a Senate vote.

We have previously blogged about Ambassador-Designate Polaschik when she was the deputy chief of mission who ran the Embassy Libya after Ambassador Cretz left the country due to Wikileaks.  She also led the evacuation of personnel/American citizens in February 2011 and lead the team back into Tripoli when it reopened in September 2011. A few days ago, Algeria was in the news.  Its national airline Air Algerie on a flight from Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou to Algiers had crashed in Mali. Did that prompt the confirmation?

What about Mauritania, what’s going on there?  Issues of interest include al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Mali refugees. Mauritania just had its presidential election last June. The United States “looks forward to continuing to work with President-elect Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and the Government of Mauritania to promote prosperity and regional security” but that’s going to be difficult without an ambassador there.  Oops! The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit is coming up next week, perhaps the U.S. Senate did note Mauritania’s Chairmanship of the African Union, and so we’ve got Ambassador-Designate Larry Andre ready to beam over to Nouakchott, so he could beam back to D.C. for the Summit next week.

Three days to go before Congress breaks for the summer!