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US State Department director to visit The Gambia

Dec 10, 2013, 9:34 AM

On Wednesday December 11, Stephen Schwartz, Director of the Office of West African Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, will be visiting The Gambia.

He will be meeting with government officials and members of civil society in support of the strong bilateral relationship between the United States of America and the Republic of The Gambia.

Mr. Schwartz will hold a press conference with the media to speak on and answer questions about the strong ties between the U.S. and The Gambia, the purpose of his trip, and President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Stephen Michael Schwartz began his assignment as Director of West African Affairs on August 14, 2013.  This follows his tours as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in Lusaka, Zambia and as Deputy Director in the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs.

Mr. Schwartz served from 2004-2007 as DCM at the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius, which was responsible for relations with the Indian Ocean nations of Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros.  He has performed political, economic, consular, and management work during overseas assignments in Pretoria, South Africa (2001-2004); Havana, Cuba (1999-2001); Bujumbura, Burundi (1995-1996); and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1992-1994).  Mr. Schwartz’s other domestic assignments were as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1998-1999) and Desk Officer for Sudan (1996-1998).  He has been a career Foreign Service Officer since 1992.

Previously, Mr. Schwartz worked at a non-governmental organization supporting transition in Eastern Europe & the former Soviet Union and in the Africa Program at the Brookings Institution.  In the early 1980s he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and Peace Corps Desk Officer for Mauritania, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

Mr. Schwartz graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in May 1980 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  He received a Master’s degree in African Studies in 1988 from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and earned a Master’s degree in National Security Strategy in 2008 at the National War College in Washington, DC.