Chargé d’Affaires, Kathleen FitzGibbon
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kathleen FitzGibbon
There is currently no U.S. Ambassador in Sierra Leone. The U.S. Embassy is led by Charge d’Affairs, a.i. Kathleen FitzGibbon.
Kathleen FitzGibbon arrived to serve as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone in August 2012. She has served as Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. since October 2013. Prior to her assignment to Freetown, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libreville, Gabon. Kathleen worked in several other African posts. As the Political/Economic Chief in Kampala, Uganda, Kathleen focused on negotiations with the Lord’s Resistance Army and northern Uganda’s recovery from decades of conflict. In N’Djamena, Chad, she assisted the Bureau of Refugees, Migration, and Population with managing the influx of 200,000 Darfur refugees and was a State Department negotiator at the Darfur Peace Talks. She served as the Political Chief in Lagos, Nigeria as the country returned to civilian rule. Kathleen also was the Senior Reporting Officer in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons covering Africa, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. Through this and other Washington positions, she has built expertise on human trafficking, conflict resolution, refugee affairs, human rights, democratic and economic reforms, and commercial advocacy. Before joining the Department of State, she taught African Politics, International Development, and American Government at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, VA.
Kathleen’s hometown is Caledonia, New York, a village in between Rochester and Buffalo. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. She has an M.A. in International Relations and is A.B.D. in Comparative Politics-African Studies from the University of California, Davis. She enjoys playing soccer, tennis, and golf in her spare time. She is a member of the Sierra Leone Football Association’s Women’s Committee and is the Ladies Captain at Freetown Golf Club.