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Bernadette Allen: Wikis


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Bernadette M. Allen, current U.S. Ambassador to Niger

Bernadette M. Allen is a United States foreign service officer and ambassador. She is the current U.S. Ambassador to Niger.


Education and career

Allen was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. She earned a B.A. in French Civilization and Linguistics at Central College in Pella, Iowa in 1978. She studied abroad for a year in 1977, earning a Certificate in French Civilization from the Sorbonne in Paris. From 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. She speaks French and Mandarin Chinese.

Allen was commissioned into the U.S. diplomatic service in January 1980. On October 26, 2005, she was nominated by President Bush 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.

State Department career


Foreign assignments

  • General Services Officer/Vice Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi (1980-1982)
  • Temporary duty assignment as Consul at the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, Japan (1984)
  • Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines (1982-1984)
  • Consular Section Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou, China (1991-1994)
  • Chief of the Montreal Consular Section (2000-2002)
  • Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal (2002-2005)

Domestic assignments

  • Desk officer in the Africa Bureau’s Regional Affairs Office (1985-1987)
  • Visa officer in the Visa Office Coordination Division (1985-1989)
  • Studied Mandarin Chinese at National Foreign Affairs Training Center (NFATC) (1989) and in Taipei, Taiwan (1990)
  • Deputy Director of Consular Training at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center (NFATC) (1994-1996)
  • Legislative Management Officer (1996-1998)
  • Director of the Visa Office Coordination Division (1998-2000)


  • Superior Honor Award for leadership as Consul General in Montreal
  • Meritorious Honor Award for outstanding managerial and professional skills in Guangzhou, China
  • Superior Honor Award for outstanding leadership and performance as Visa Coordination Division Director

Affiliations and activities

  • Lifetime membership in the U.S. Tennis Association
  • Big Sisters of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area volunteer
  • Usher Board Chairman at the Carmody Hills Baptist Church in Seat Pleasant, Maryland
  • President of the Central College African-American Student Organization (Pella, Iowa)
  • Member of service sorority Alpha Delta Epsilon (Pella, Iowa)


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Gail D. T. Mathieu
U.S. Ambassador to Niger
Succeeded by


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