Constance Berry Newman

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Constance Berry Newman
Constance Berry Newman official photo.jpg
United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
In office
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byWalter H. Kansteiner, III
Succeeded byJendayi Frazer
Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management
In office
Preceded byConstance Horner
Succeeded byKay Coles James
Personal details
Born (1935-07-08) July 8, 1935 (age 83)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyRepublican
Alma materBates College (B.A., 1956)
University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 1959)

Constance Ernestine Berry Newman (born July 8, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois) was the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from June 2004 to April 2005.

Early life[edit]

Constance Berry Newman is the daughter of a social worker and nurse. Her father was a physician.[1] She received her high school diploma from Tuskegee Institute High School, located on the campus of the Tuskegee University, where she was an honor roll student and active in the Government Club, in 1951. She got her B.S. Political Science, Bates College, Maine in 1956 and her J.D. in law from University of Minnesota Law School in 1959.

1960s and 1970s[edit]

Newman worked as a clerk typist, personnel assistant, and personnel manager with the United States Department of the Interior from 1962 to 1967. She worked with migrant farmers in the Office of Economic Development from 1967 to 1969. From 1969 to 1971 she served as Special Assistant to Elliot Richardson, who headed what is now known as the Department of Health and Human Services. In 1971, United States President Richard Nixon appointed Newman to serve as director of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the domestic Peace Corps. She served as the Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission from 1973 to 1976. She received her Doctor of Laws, Bates College in 1972. Newman oversaw the consumer unit focused on Indian and elderly affairs as the Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1976 to 1977. She co-founded Newman and Hermanson Company, a consulting firm specializing in the government regulatory procedures from 1977.

1980s and 1990s[edit]

Newman won the Amherst College award in 1980. She worked as President of the Institute of American Business from 1982 to 1984, and as a Private Consultant from 1984 to 1987 on issues related to Africa, working on a World Bank project in which she lived and worked in the Southern African country of Lesotho. Newman received the "Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service" in 1985. She worked as the Cooperative Housing Foundation consultant on a World Bank project in Lesotho to merge existing housing corporations into one that was structured to receive World Bank funding from 1987 to 1988. She then served as the Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management from 1989 to 1992. Newman received the "Central State University" award in 1991. She began a serious undertaking of re-inventing of the OPM, involving unions, the personnel community, managers' associations in strategic planning for federal human resources management. Also, she focused on civil servants' role in delivering critical public services.[2] As Under Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1992 to 2000, she received the Joseph Henry Medal in 2000, the Smithsonian's highest award for recognition of her distinguished service, achievements and contributions to the prestige and growth of the Smithsonian Institution.[3] At around the same time, from 1995 to 2001, she was a Board Member and Vice Chair of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, and from 1998 to 2001 as a Board Member of the International Republican Institute. She won the "Washingtonian of the Year" award in 1998.


Newman served as the Assistant Administrator for Africa of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from November 2001 to June 2004. USAID is the government agency that administers economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide. On June 24, 2004 President George W. Bush appointed her U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.[4] She had a central role in several aspects of U.S. Africa policy. She helped determine that "genocide has been committed" in Sudan's Darfur region for Colin Powell's speech in September 2004.[5][6] She resigned in April 2005 and Jendayi Frazer replaced her.[7] She is a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute.[8]


  1. ^ [1] Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Office of Personnel Management". Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  3. ^ [2] Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Office of the Historian". 1968-08-20. Archived from the original on 2007-09-15. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  5. ^ "U.S. Calls Killings In Sudan Genocide". Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  6. ^ [3] Archived September 17, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Hultman, Tamela (2005-04-21). "Africa: Jendayi Frazer Tapped for State Department Africa Post". Retrieved 2015-08-26.
  8. ^ [4] Archived April 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Walter H. Kansteiner, III
United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
2004 – 2005
Succeeded by
Jendayi Frazer