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Biography

Brenda Brown Schoonover
Ambassador to Togolese Republic

Brenda Brown Schoonover of Baltimore, Maryland is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Togolese Republic.

Ambassador Schoonover began her overseas service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1961 in the Philippines, being among one of the first groups to go abroad at the inception of the Peace Corps. She later served in the Peace Corps' Office of Talent Search, then as Associate Director of the Peace Corps in Tanzania, followed by an appointment as Director of the Agency's School Partnership Program. In the mid-70s, Ambassador Schoonover worked for 2 years as Affirmative Action Officer for the Arlington County Government in Virginia.

Ambassador Schoonover has been with the Department of State for 21 years in a variety of administrative positions. She has served overseas in the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tunisia; and in Washington in the Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs. From 1988 to 1991, she was the Chief of Personnel for the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. Following that assignment, in 1992 she served as Administrative Officer/Deputy Director for the Office of Joint Administrative Services in the U.S. Embassy in Brussels. She is an alumnus of the Senior Seminar--the Department's advanced professional development program for senior foreign policy and national security officers of the U.S. Government, and of the National Defense University's Capstone Program given to flag officers and equivalents.

Ambassador Schoonover received a Bachelor of Arts from Morgan State University in Baltimore, and did graduate studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C. in connection with participation in the Cardozo High School Urban Teaching Program, which focused on inner city school curriculum development.

Since her arrival in Togo in January 1998, Ambassador Schoonover has spoken at several conferences and seminars, such as the Seminar on the Future of NORPLANT Contraceptives in West Africa and Haiti, sponsored by the Family Health and Prevention of AIDS organization; and a conference on the U.S. Judiciary System, sponsored by the former United States Information Service. In September of the same year, she presented hospital and school supplies donated by the U.S. Department of Defense to the Government of Togo. The Ambassador has also welcomed several groups of Peace Corps Volunteers to Togo, and in April 1998 participated in the Peace Corps All-Volunteer Conference in Pagala, Togo.

Ambassador Schoonover speaks French.

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