U.S. Deputy Secretary Of State Heads For Liberia

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Deputy Secretary Higginbottom will hold talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other Liberian officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom arrives in Liberia June 19 for a two-day official visit as part of a three-nation African tour.  The visit began with stops in Senegal and Kenya.

 Deputy Secretary Higginbottom will hold talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other Liberian officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will also meet with the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General, Karin Landgren, and representatives of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

 While in Liberia, she will also hold discussions with members of the non-governmental organization, Liberia Investing in Business Expansion (IBEX), about ways to promote women entrepreneurs and small business training programs.  IBEX is a U.S.-sponsored project intended to remove barriers to growing small businesses.

The Deputy Secretary will be the guest of honor at a reception, where she will have the opportunity to meet a number of Liberian youth leaders, including members of the U.S. Ambassador’s Council of Youth Advisors and applicants for President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders (YALI) Washington Fellowship Program.

 In Senegal, Deputy Secretary Higginbottom met with senior Senegalese officials, including Prime Minister Aminata Touré and the Minister of Economy and Finance Amadou Ba. The Deputy Secretary also met with prominent business leaders and American companies, visited U.S. Government-supported health and food security projects, and participated in a reception with YALI candidates, young entrepreneurs, and alumni of U.S.-funded exchange programs.

In Kenya, the Deputy Secretary met with senior Kenyan Government officials and discussed a range of issues of mutual interest in the U.S.-Kenya partnership, such as health, wildlife conservation, economic development and commercial ties, and security.  She visited U.S.-supported health and economic development projects, including a Kenyan company that exports its products to the United States. She also held discussions with private sector and civil society leaders.

Ms. Higginbottom was confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State by the U.S. Senate in December 2013.  In her current role, she shares in the global responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy and has broad management and programmatic oversight responsibilities for both the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

 Boi of Heather Higginbottom

Heather Higginbottom was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2013. In her current role, she shares in the global responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy and has broad management and programmatic oversight responsibilities for both the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ms. Higginbottom, the first female to become Deputy Secretary, most recently served as Counselor to the Secretary of State, advising him on policy, personnel, and management issues.

Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Higginbottom served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she was the Chief Operating Officer of OMB and a principal architect of the federal budget. From January 2009 to January 2011, Ms. Higginbottom served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. In that role, she advised the President on a range of education, immigration, and economic development issues – including helping to design the Race to the Top and Promise Neighborhood programs.

 Ms. Higginbottom began working for then-Senator Obama in 2007, when she served as Policy Director for the President’s campaign and supervised all aspects of foreign and domestic policy development.

 During the 2004 campaign, she served as the Deputy National Policy Director for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Campaign. After the election, she founded and served as Executive Director of the American Security Project, a national security think tank.

 Ms. Higginbottom began her government service in 1999, when she joined the office of then Senator John Kerry as Legislative Assistant. During her years in Senator Kerry’s staff, she handled a wide array of domestic and foreign policy issues, and eventually served as his Legislative Director, overseeing all policy matters.

 Prior to her government service, Ms. Higginbottom served at Communities In Schools, a national non-profit organization dedicated to keeping young people from dropping out of school.

 Ms. Higginbottom holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the George Washington University.

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Author: D K Sengbeh

Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh (author of Sengbeh's Weblog) is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist, poet and writer with with journalism experience since 2001, of working both as a mainstream journalist and a communication/media consultant in Liberia. He is Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (elected Dec 2013). He was Assistant Secretary General of the Union Dec 2011 to Dec 2013. He is also Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper—one of Liberia’s credible dailies. Before joining the Informer, Danicius had served as reporter, chief reporter, sub-editor and News Editor at The Independent Newspaper between 2002 and 2006. Before then, he was reporter at the defunct Patriot Newspaper and Kiss FM 2001-2002. Danicius is a UN Media Fellow and Liberia’s first UN Medal Award-winning journalist for his contribution to journalism and for being the second Liberian journalist in 15 years to qualify for and successfully attended the United Nations’ Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalist Fellowship Program in New York and Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication and Sociology from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism from the International School of Journalism. He holds several awards and recognitions both in and outside of journalism, and carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He volunteers as Chair of the Information and Communication Committee of his local Bardnersville community. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018/ dakasen1978@yahoo.com

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