A career diplomat who previously served as ambassador to two other African nations, Wanda L. Nesbitt became U.S. ambassador to Namibia in November 2010.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with bachelor of arts degrees in international relations and French, Nesbitt also earned a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College in 1997.
Nesbitt joined the Foreign Service in 1981.
Her first assignments were as vice-consul in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (1982-1983) and then Paris, France (1983-1985). She served as regional consular officer in Kinshasa, Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo) from 1990-1992, then returned to the states.
In Washington, Nesbitt was chief of the Europe and Africa Division of Citizens Emergency Center (1992-1993), deputy director of the State Department’s Executive Secretariat Staff (1994-1995) and the officer in charge of immigration and refugee issues for the Bureau of Legislative Affairs (1995-1997).
Nesbitt has twice been deputy chief of mission, first at the embassy in Kigali, Rwanda (1997-1999) and then at the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she was chargé d'affaires from January to November 2001.
From January 2002 to August 2004, Nesbitt was ambassador to Madagascar. During this time she focused on such issues as environmental preservation and protection, increased private sector involvement in poverty reduction strategies, and long-term commitment to good governance and democratic practices.
Next, Nesbitt was director of the Senior Level Division in the Bureau of Human Resources’ Career Development and Assignments Division, which handles assignments issues for the State Department’s most senior career officers and acts as the executive secretariat for the chief of mission and deputy chief of mission/principal officer selection committees.
From September 2005 to August 2007, Nesbitt served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
She received her second ambassadorship from President George W. Bush in 2007, when she was posted to the Ivory Coast. She held that assignment until August 2010.
Nesbitt was born December 7, 1956, in Philadelphia. Her hobbies include piano and tennis. She is married to photojournalist James Stejskal.