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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Electronic Information and Publications Office > Biographies > Biographies Listed Alphabetically by Last Name
Picture of Bernadette M. AllenBIOGRAPHY

Bernadette M. Allen
Ambassador, Niger
Term of Appointment: 03/28/2006 to present

Bernadette M. Allen, a career foreign service officer at the U.S. Department of State, was commissioned into the U.S. diplomatic service in January 1980. Nominated by President Bush on October 26, 2005, to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Niger, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 16, 2006, and sworn in as ambassador on March 28, 2006.

Ms. Allen has experience in three Bureaus for overseas duty, including service in Asia and Africa as well as in Western Hemisphere, the Americas. She served as Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal (2002-2005), following service as Chief of the Montreal Consular Section (2000-2002). Other overseas assignments include Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China (1991-1994), Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines (1982-1984), a six-month temporary duty assignment as Consul at the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, Japan (1984), General Services Officer/Vice Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi (1980-1982).

Her domestic assignments at the Department of State include Director of the Visa Office Coordination Division (1998-2000), Legislative Management Officer (1996-1998), Deputy Director of Consular Training at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center (NFATC) (1994-1996), desk officer in the Africa Bureau’s Regional Affairs Office (1985-1987), visa officer in the Visa Office Coordination Division (1985-1989). She studied Mandarin Chinese at NFATC (1989) and in Taipei, Taiwan (1990).

Ms. Allen earned a B.A. in French Civilization and Linguistics in 1978, at Central College in Pella, Iowa. In a study year abroad (1977), she earned a Certificate in French Civilization from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. During the years 1987-1989 she completed an M.A. in Human Resources Management at George Washington University while handling her regular duties at the Department of State. That degree was awarded in February 1990. She speaks French and Mandarin Chinese.

Awards include a Superior Honor Award for leadership as Consul General in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, a Meritorious Honor Award for outstanding managerial and professional skills in Guangzhou, China and a Superior Honor Award for outstanding leadership and performance as Visa Coordination Division Director.

Ms. Allen was born in Washington, DC and raised in Seat Pleasant, Prince George’s County, Maryland. She holds lifetime membership in the U.S. Tennis Association. Her other activities have included: Big Sisters of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area volunteer, Usher Board Chairman at the Carmody Hills Baptist Church in Seat Pleasant, MD, President of the Central College African-American Student Organization (Pella, Iowa) and member of service sorority Alpha Delta Epsilon (Pella, Iowa).

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Released on March 29, 2006

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