U.S. Ambassador to Liberia: Who Is Christine Elder?

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Christine Elder

Christine Elder, a career member of the Foreign Service, was sworn in as Ambassador to Liberia on June 20, 2016. It’s her first ambassadorial posting.


Elder was born in Chicago, daughter of Allen and Diane Elder, but later lived in Kentucky. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 1989 and subsequently earned an M.A. at George Washington University.


She joined the State Department in 1992 after serving as a trade policy assistant in the International Trade Administration in the Department of Commerce. Early assignments included postings in Bonn and Berlin, Germany. From 2002 to 2004, Elder was cultural affairs officer in the embassy in Budapest, Hungary. She began a stint in Washington in 2005 as senior watch officer in the State Department operations center and the following year was made Deputy Director for Regional Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Elder was made strategic planning officer in the Bureau of International Programs in 2007. She served there until 2010, along with being acting deputy coordinator for international information programs beginning in 2009.


In 2010, Elder went to Maputo, Mozambique as Deputy Chief of Mission in the embassy there. She returned to Washington in 2013 to serve as Director for Southern Africa Affairs, a post she held until going to Liberia.


Elder is married to Paul Hughes, a former Foreign Service officer, and has two stepchildren, Ellie and Christopher. Elder speaks German and Portuguese.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Nomination Announcement


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