U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique: Who Is H. Dean Pittman?

Monday, January 25, 2016
Dean Pittman

Dean Pittman, a career member of the Foreign Service, was confirmed on Nov. 19, 2015 as the U.S. ambassador to Mozambique. It is his first such posting.


Pittman was born in Virginia, where his father, Paul, served as a naval aviator. When Pittman was 6, his family moved to Tylertown, Miss., where his father took over as editor of the local newspaper and his mother was a teacher. Pittman went to Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, earning a B.A. in political science in 1978. He got a taste of Washington life when he interned for Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). After graduation, Pittman went into the Peace Corps and spent his time teaching English in Gabon.


Upon leaving the Peace Corps, he worked for Rep. Wayne Dowdy (D-Mississippi), a fellow Millsaps graduate. Pittman also went back to school, earning an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins in 1985. In 1988, Dowdy tried to make the jump to the Senate with Pittman running his campaign, but they lost to Republican Trent Lott.


Pittman joined the Foreign Service in 1989, with early postings in Mozambique, Angola and Guyana. He spent a year as a diplomat in residence with the National Democratic Institute, focusing on democracy-building initiatives in Bangladesh and Pakistan. In 1997, Pittman was named legislative management officer for East Asia and Pacific affairs. He was sent to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999 as a political counselor and returned to Washington the following year as director of Balkan affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 2002, Pittman was made special assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.


As did many Foreign Service officers, Pittman did a tour in Iraq, serving as deputy director in the Governance Office of the Coalition Provisional Authority for an eight-month period between 2003 and 2004. His next assignment took him to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he served as consul general for three years.


Pittman came home in 2007 for what turned out to be a long stay in Washington. He was first a member in the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning, working on how the United States’ climate change agenda was presented to the world.  In 2009, he was senior diplomacy adviser to the department’s quadrennial diplomacy and development review, and the following year he was named principal deputy assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs.


From 2013 to 2014, Pittman served as acting Assistant Secretary of State. Since 2014, he has been a senior adviser to the Bureau of International Organization Affairs.


Pittman speaks French and Portuguese.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Official Biography


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