Webinar – The Biden Administration’s Plans to Partner with Africa: Grow Opportunities and Address Tough Challenges
For Americans, Africa is often the forgotten Continent even as China works to expand its presence. President Biden has signaled early on that the United States will engage and stands ready to be a partner for Africa. With a booming young and entrepreneurial population and key strategic resources – in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are opportunities for U.S. business. Preserving the Congo Basin, the world’s second lung, needs to be a priority. And, ISIS must be countered as it seeks to spread its reach into Mozambique, the DRC, and beyond.
Presenter: Ambassador Michael (Mike) A. Hammer was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the United States ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on September 6, 2018. He had been serving as the Acting Senior Vice President of the National Defense University (NDU). He previously served as the Deputy Commandant of NDU’s Eisenhower School.
Ambassador Hammer is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service class of Minis-ter-Counselor. He served as U.S. ambassador to Chile from 2014-2016. He began his diplomatic career in 1988. Prior to his appointment in Chile, Ambassador Hammer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from March 2012 to August 2013. He also served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.
Before joining the Bureau of Public Affairs, Ambassador Hammer served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Press and Communications, and National Security Council Spokesman from January 2009 to January 2011. He previously served at the National Security Council as Deputy Spokesman from 1999 to 2000 and as the Director of Andean Affairs from 2000 to 2001.
Ambassador Hammer’s overseas postings include Bolivia, Norway, Iceland, and Den-mark. His other State Department assignments include the Operations Center and serving as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Ambassador Hammer has received several awards, including the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Department’s Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, and several Superior Honor awards.
Ambassador Hammer earned a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He also earned Master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and from the National War College at the National Defense University.
Ambassador Hammer grew up in Latin America, living in Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. He is fluent in Spanish and speaks French and Iceland-ic. Ambassador Hammer and his wife Margret Bjorgulfsdottir have three children.