Ambassador to Mauritania: Who Is Larry André, Jr.?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

President Barack Obama nominated career diplomat Larry E. André, Jr. to serve as ambassador to the West African nation of Mauritania on Sept. 10, 2013. André, who has extensive experience in Africa, has been acting envoy and director of the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan at the State Department since 2011. If confirmed by the Senate, he would succeed Jo Ellen Powell, who served in Nouakchott starting in October 2010.


Born circa 1961, Larry Edward André, Jr. earned a BA at Claremont McKenna College in California in Political Science in 1983 and an MBA at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona in 1988.


André’s first experience in Africa came courtesy not of the State Department but of the Peace Corps, which sent him to work as a volunteer in Senegal from August 1983 to November 1985. After earning his MBA, André returned to Africa to work on a refugee resettlement project in Chad from 1988 to 1990.


Joining the Foreign Service in 1990, André served early career postings at American facilities in Nigeria, Cameroon, Bangladesh and Iraq. He served as management officer at the embassy in Conakry, Guinea, from 1998 to 2000; as regional environment officer for East Africa (14 countries) at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 2000 to 2002; and as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone, from 2002 to 2004.


At the State Department in Washington, DC, André served as deputy director of the Office of West African Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2004 to 2006. 


Back in Africa, André served two stints in East Africa, as political counselor at the embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, from 2006 to 2008, and as deputy chief of mission at the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 2008 to 2010, including several months in 2009 when he was chargé d’affaires ad interim.


In Washington, André served as deputy executive director for the Bureau of African Affairs from 2010 to 2011.


André speaks two of the predominant languages of West Africa: French and Wolof.

-Matt Bewig


T-Bird Nominated to Serve as US Ambassador to Mauritania (Thunderbird Magazine)


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