Date: 02/10/2012 Description: Black History Month 2012: Willeah Cato - State Dept Image Leah Cato joined the U.S. Foreign Service in September 2002. In July 2011, she assumed the Deputy Economic Counselor position at U.S. Embassy San Salvador.

Ms. Cato’s overseas assignments include Costa Rica, Kuwait, Iraq, and Yemen. Her domestic tours include appointments as the Chile desk officer and as a staff assistant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Front Office. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Cato was a Presidential Management Fellow working as a consular and migration officer in the Office of Cuban Affairs.

Ms. Cato is the recipient of Superior Honor Awards for contributions to the U.S.-Chile bilateral relationship and for promotion of democracy in Iraq. She was awarded a Meritorious Honor Award for assistance to U.S. Embassy Paris during their post-September 11th response.

Ms. Cato received a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy from Schiller University in London and a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish from Florida State University. She is an alumna of St. Timothy’s High School in Stevenson, Maryland. Ms. Cato speaks English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.