Pamela E. Bridgewater
|Pamela E. Bridgewater|
|United States Ambassador to Benin|
September 15, 2000 – December 10, 2002
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Robert C. Felder|
|Succeeded by||Wayne E. Neill|
|United States Ambassador to Ghana|
June 21, 2005 – June 10, 2008
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Mary Carlin Yates|
|Succeeded by||Donald G. Teitelbaum|
|United States Ambassador to Jamaica|
December 1, 2010
|Preceded by||Sue McCourt Cobb|
April 14, 1947 |
|Alma mater||Virginia State University;
University of Cincinnati
Bridgewater was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the daughter of a bank teller and a jazz trumpeter, and attended Walker-Grant High School. She has two degrees in Political Science, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from Virginia State University in 1968, and with a master of arts degree from the University of Cincinnati. Her career was initially in teaching, working at Maryland universities Morgan State and Bowie State, and Voorhees College in South Carolina, before entering the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980.
Between 1980 and 1990 she was posted as Vice-Consul to Brussels, and Labor Attaché/Political Officer in Kingston, Jamaica. At the Department of State, Bridgewater was the longest-serving diplomat in South Africa, posted as Political Officer at Pretoria from 1990 to 1993, and as the first African-American woman appointed Consul General at Durban, from 1993 to 1996. Here she worked with Nelson Mandela during the transition of South Africa away from apartheid.
From 1996 to 1999 she was Deputy Chief of Mission in Nassau, Bahamas. Bridgewater was a member and president of the 42nd Senior Seminar, the U.S. Department of State's most prestigious professional development program, from 1999 to 2000, before serving as U.S. Ambassador to Benin from October 2000 to January 2003. Subsequently she was appointed U.S. deputy assistant secretary for African Affairs in December 2002, where she managed the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs' relationships with 16 countries in West Africa.
- Department of State Superior Honor Awards (3)
- Presidential Meritorious Service Award
- Honorary doctorate of laws from Virginia State University in 1997
- National Order of Benin in 2002
- Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development in 2002
- Dominion Resources Strong Leaders Award 2004
- Honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Cincinnati in 2006
- "U.S. Ambassador Pamela E. Bridgewater to Address December Graduates at the University of Cincinnati". University of Cincinnati. 8 November 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
- "Asantehene commends Pamela Bridgewater". GBC NEWS. 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-30.[dead link]
- Williams, Michael Paul (November 11, 2007). "PROFILE: Pamela Bridgewater". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2008-07-30.[dead link]
- Delano, Frank (August 29, 2007). "The go-to American in Ghana". The Free Lance-Star.
- "Biography - Ambassador, Benin". U.S. State Department. March 14, 2002. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
- "Excellence in Leadership - 2004 Honoree". Dominion Resources, Inc. 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
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