Deborah R. Malac

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Deborah Ruth Malac
Deborah R. Malac.jpg
United States Ambassador to Uganda
Assumed office
November 19, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byScott DeLisi
United States Ambassador to Liberia
In office
July 26, 2012 – November 19, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byLinda Thomas-Greenfield
Succeeded byMark Boulware, Chargé d'Affaires a.i.
Personal details
Born1955 (age 63–64)
NationalityUnited States of America
EducationFurman University
University of Virginia
Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy

Deborah Ruth Malac (born 1955)[1] is an American diplomat and serves as the United States Ambassador to Uganda. She was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the Senate Nov. 19, 2015. She previously served as United States Ambassador to Liberia.

Early life and education[edit]

Malac is the daughter of Marian Bartak Malac and Barry Forrest Malac, [2] a Czech immigrant. [3] In 1977 Malac earned a B.A. in international studies magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Furman University. She also received an M.A. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia in 1981. She later studied at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (now Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy) and received an M.S. in national resources strategy there in 2002. [4] Malac spent a year studying international law at the University of Basel on a Fulbright Foundation fellowship.


Malac joined the Department of State in 1981. She has spent most of her career focusing on Africa. Her assignments included serving as desk officer for Laos and South Africa. Overseas assignments brought her to Bangkok, Pretoria, and Yaoundé, Cameroon, Senegal and Ethiopia.[5]

In 2012 Malac became to U.S. Ambassador to Liberia. In 2014, a major Ebola outbreak started there, and Malac helped coordinate the U.S. response to the medical and humanitarian crisis. Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, joined Malac in a tour of the Liberian capital and implored U.S. President Barack Obama to assist the country.[6]When aid was forthcoming, Malac assured Liberians that American military assistance (which became Operation United Assistance) were not there to organize a coup against Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.[7] Malac later noted that coordinated efforts helped to curb the epidemic.[8][9]

On September 19, 2015 President Obama nominated Malac to become the U.S Ambassador to Uganda to replace Scott DeLisi, who announced he was retiring. The Senate confirmed the nomination in November 2015.[10] When elections took place shortly after her arrival, the government of Uganda issued statements critical of Malac for her admonition not to sacrifice democratic processes in the country for the sake of security.[11]

Personal Life[edit]

In addition to English, Malac speaks French, German and Thai. Malac and her husband, Ron Olson, have three children.[12]


  1. ^ Deborah Ruth Malac (1955–)
  2. ^ Senate Congressional Record U.S. Congress, November 17, 2015
  3. ^ News From The Czech Center Museum, Houston, Texas, MAY 29, 2013
  4. ^ Malac Deborah R. - Republic of Uganda U.S. State Department, September 2015
  5. ^ Deborah R. Malac U.S. State Department, accessed May 2, 2016
  6. ^ U.S. to Commit Up to 3,000 Troops to Fight Ebola in Africa new York Times, September 16, 2014
  7. ^ AFRICOM’s Ebola response and the militarization of humanitarian aid The Washington Post, September 25, 2014
  8. ^ In Liberia, a Good or Very Bad Sign: Empty Hospital Beds The New York Times, October 29, 2014
  9. ^ 3 Liberian Health Workers With Ebola Receive Scarce Drug After Appeals to U.S. The New York Times, August 16, 2014
  10. ^ Malac named new US envoy to Uganda The Daily Monitor, September 19, 2015
  11. ^ Uganda gov’t rebukes US ambassador over post-election statement Star Africa, April 8, 2016
  12. ^ U.S. Ambassador to Uganda: Who Is Deborah Malac? AllGov, January 25, 2016

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Linda Thomas-Greenfield
United States Ambassador to Liberia
Succeeded by
Mark Boulware
Preceded by
Scott DeLisi
United States Ambassador to Uganda
Succeeded by