U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti: Who Is Larry André, Jr.?

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Larry André, Jr.

On September 2, 2017. President Donald Trump nominated career diplomat Larry E. André, Jr. to serve as ambassador to the East African nation of Djibouti. André, who has extensive experience in Africa, has been ambassador to the West African nation of Mauritania since September 2014. After President Barack Obama nominated André to be ambassador to Mauritania, it took the Republican-led Senate 321 days to confirm him. If confirmed by the Senate this time around, he would succeed Tom Kelly, who served in Djibouti City from June 2014 to January 2017.


Born in 1961 to Kathleen Ann Hoyt and Larry Edward André, Sr., Larry Edward André, Jr. has a sister, Regina Kathleen André, and a half-brother, Jara Hoyt. He 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 (1990-1992), Cameroon (1992-1994), and Bangladesh (1994-1998). 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. He also worked briefly in Iraq from July to August 2005.


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, and as acting envoy and director of the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan at the State Department from 2011 to 2013.


André is married to Salma Rahman, who is also a foreign service officer, with whom he has an adult daughter, Ruhiyyih Rahman André, who lives in Nairobi, Kenya. He speaks two of West Africa’s commonly-used languages: Wolof and French.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

History of Slavery and its Vestiges in the United States (by Larry E. André, Facebook)

State Department Biography

Statement Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (pdf) 


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