Ambassador (Ret.) Mary Carlin Yates recently returned from Sudan, where she served as U.S. Interim Chargé d'Affaires (2011-2012). The goal of the January trip was to make progress on assessing a re-engagement strategy between the U.S. and this geopolitically significant state, at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East.
"We are at a critical time, and the progress towards re-engagement and having a strong bilateral relationship to both nations hangs in the balance as Khartoum's government and president flirt with closer relations with Russia," Ambassador Yates told WACA and WorldOregon in an email.
Read Sudan: A Strategy for Re-Engagement by Ambassador Yates and Kelsey Lilley, and listen to a podcast of this call, hosted by Derrick Olsen, President of WorldOregon.
Ambassador (Ret.) Mary Carlin Yates was Interim Chargé d’Affaires to Sudan (2011 to 2012), appointed by President Barack Obama. Since retirement, she also worked for the US Department of State as senior inspector/team leader for the Office of Inspector General. Her current board work includes the Atlantic Council, Oregon State University (OSU) Foundation, OSU Honors College Board of Regents, and trustee at WorldOregon.
Yates, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, also served as special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) of the White House. She joined the National Security Council as senior adviser for strategic planning and special assistant to the president in June 2009. She came to the NSC directly from serving as deputy to the commander for civil-military activities (DCMA) of United States Africa Command, October 2007 to May 2009.
Yates served as US ambassador to the Republic of Ghana from 2002 until 2005. While US ambassador to the Republic of Burundi from 1999 until 2002, Yates worked extensively to bring peace and stability through the Burundian peace process in Arusha, Tanzania, led by former South African President Nelson Mandela. She also served in Kinshasa, Zaïre (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), as a political officer and then public affairs counselor from 1991 to 1995 during the genocide in neighboring Rwanda.
Her other assignments included the US Embassy in Paris, France; the Bureau of Public Affairs of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State; and postings in Manila, Philippines, and Kwangju, South Korea.