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Name: Liberi, Dawn
Current Position: Ambassador

President Obama has nominated an international development expert to be the next ambassador to the central African nation of Burundi, one of the world’s poorest countries. Dawn M. Liberi, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, has specialized in sub-Saharan Africa for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), although she the past few years she has been posted to the hot spots of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. If confirmed by the Senate, Liberi would succeed Pamela J. H. Slutz, a career Foreign Service Officer who was ambassador to Burundi from November 2009 to September 2011. Since then, Sam Watson has been running things as chargé d’affaires ad interim.


Born in 1954, Liberi earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampshire College in 1976 and an M.P.H. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979. In 2005, she told a local journalist that Hampshire’s “emphasis on hands-on learning gave her a firsthand look at the work, with internships at UNICEF in New York and visits to learn about the health care systems of Egypt and Holland.”


Liberi’s early career foreign postings included service as population, health and nutrition technical officer for USAID’s missions in Senegal and Niger from 1981 to 1987, and as USAID deputy mission director in Ghana from 1992 to 1994. In Washington, she served as USAID associate assistant administrator in the Global Bureau, Population, Health and Nutrition Office from 1994 to 1998.


She served as USAID mission director in Uganda, from 1998 to 2002, and in Nigeria, from 2002 to 2005. From 2005 to 2006, Liberi was the USAID mission director in Iraq. From 2006 to 2009, she was an executive civil-military counselor with USAID. From 2009 to 2011, she served as coordinator for the Interagency Provincial Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, and as senior civilian representative for the Combined Joint Task-Force 82 with the International Security Assistance Force Regional Command-East at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. 


From 2011 to 2012, she served as the senior assistance coordinator at the embassy in Tripoli, Libya

-Matt Bewig


Official Biography

Hampshire Grad Leads Iraq Effort, Alum to Direct USAID Work (by Tom Marshall, Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Testimony Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (pdf)

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