Gayleatha B. Brown

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Gayleatha B. Brown
Gayleatha B Brown.jpg
United States Ambassador to Benin
In office
July 25, 2006 – 2009
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byWayne E. Neill
Succeeded byJames Knight
United States Ambassador to Burkina Faso
In office
August 4, 2009 – 2010
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJeanine E. Jackson
Succeeded byThomas Dougherty
Personal details
Born(1947-06-20)June 20, 1947
Matewan, West Virginia, U.S.
DiedApril 19, 2013(2013-04-19) (aged 65)
Edison, New Jersey, U.S.

Gayleatha Beatrice Brown (June 20, 1947 – April 19, 2013) was a United States foreign service officer and ambassador. She has served in several diplomatic posts during her career with the U.S. Department of State including U.S. ambassador to Benin.[1][2]

President Obama nominated Brown for the ambassadorial post to Burkina Faso on July 2, 2009. She was confirmed by the Senate on August 4.


Brown was educated in the Red Jacket Elementary School, Matewan Elementary and High Schools in Mingo County, West Virginia. She graduated from high school at Edison High School in Edison, New Jersey.[3] She has BA and MA honor degrees from Howard University. She conducted post-graduate work in international relations at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.


Before joining the Department of State, Ambassador Brown was a Special Assistant to the Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Africa and a legislative assistant in the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress.

Brown’s postings with the Department of State have included:


  • Lady of the Golden Horseshoe (West Virginia state academic honor)
  • Among the first women Rotarians in Tanzania
  • Charter member of the New Jersey Edison Township High School Alumni Hall of Fame
  • Two Department of State Superior Honor Awards
  • State Department Meritorious Honor Award
  • Honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority and Sandown Rotary Club in Johannesburg, South Africa

Ambassador Brown speaks English, French and Swahili. She writes poetry, enjoys reading (particularly mystery novels), and loves dancing, tennis, t'ai chi, and music (especially gospel, soul, jazz, classical). She is a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church (Pilgrim Circle) in Washington, D.C. and is associated with the Community Church of Iselin, New Jersey.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ambassador Gayleatha B. Brown Biography Archived 2009-06-08 at the Wayback Machine., United States Ambassador to the Republic of Benin. Accessed September 29, 2007. "She was educated in the Red Jacket Elementary School, Matewan Elementary and High Schools in Mingo County, West Virginia; and Edison Township High School, Edison, New Jersey."


  • "Ambassador Gayleatha B. Brown". September 22, 2009. State Department. Archived from the original on 2009-09-22. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  • United States Department of State: Biography of Gayleatha Brown
  • White House press release
  • "Coutonou" (PDF). State Department. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Wayne E. Neill
U.S. Ambassador to Benin
Succeeded by
James Knight
Preceded by
Jeanine E. Jackson
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso
Succeeded by
Thomas Dougherty