Ambassador to Uganda: Who Is Scott DeLisi?
Sunday, March 25, 2012
A career Senior Foreign Service Officer whose career has included two postings to Africa will be the next ambassador to the African nation of Uganda. President Barack Obama nominated Scott H. DeLisi to the post on January 23, 2012, subject to Senate confirmation. Among other things, DeLisi will be monitoring the progress of the 100 troops sent to Uganda by President Obama to assist in the fight against the terrorist Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
Born in April 1953 in Minnesota and raised in South St. Paul, DeLisi earned a B.A. in 1977 from the University of Minnesota. After graduation he followed his father into the produce business, but then returned to the university.In 1980 he received both an M.A. in Public Affairs and a J.D.
DeLisi joined the State Department Foreign Service in June 1981, having seen an ad in The Wall Street Journal announcing the Foreign Service exam. For his first overseas assignments, he served as consular officer at the American Consulate General in Mumbai, India, from February 1982 to August 1983, and as economic officer at the American Embassy at Antananarivo, Madagascar, from September 1983 to May 1984.
Returning stateside, DeLisi served as desk officer at the Office of India, Nepal and Sri Lanka from September 1984 to July 1986, and as liaison to the defense intelligence agencies in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research from July 1986 to July 1989. The year following this introduction to intelligence work reveals a curious gap in DeLisi’s publicly known activities, followed by three overseas postings of gradually increasing responsibility in the “political cone” or career track of the Foreign Service.
DeLisi served as political officer at the Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, from July 1990 to July 1993, and then as chief of the Political Section at the Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 1993 to July 1997. In August 1997, DeLisi became deputy chief of mission at the Embassy in Gaborone, Botswana, a position he held through July 2001.
Returning to Washington, DC, he served as Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs from August 2001 through June 2004. He served as Ambassador to Eritrea from August 2004 to July 2007, where he became well known for his open criticism of the authoritarianism and human rights violations of the one party regime of President Isaias Afewerki.
After Eritrea, DeLisi took two personnel positions, as director of Career Development and Assignments, Entry Level Division, from July 2007 to April 2008, and as director of Career Development and Assignments from April 2008 to November 2009. He then served as ambassador to the Himalayan nation of Nepal until early 2012.
DeLisi is married to Leija DeLisi. They have three children, Joseph, Anthony and Tjiama.
Called to Serve: Six Alumni Make a Difference from Six Embassies Around the World (Cathy Madison, Perspectives) (pdf)
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