Ambassador R. Barrie Walkley is the U.S. Special Advisor for the Great Lakes and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Appointed by Secretary Clinton in December 2011, Ambassador Walkley helps to coordinate U.S. foreign policy and programs on regional issues, including conflict minerals, sexual and gender-based violence, and armed groups.
During 2010-2011, Ambassador Walkley was the most senior U.S. official in South Sudan, assisting South Sudan’s mandate on self-determination and the emergence of South Sudan as the world’s newest country. He directed the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Juba on July 9, 2011.
Ambassador Walkley served as Ambassador to the Gabonese Republic (2004-2007), accredited concurrently as Ambassador to the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe. Previously, he was Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea (2001-2004). He served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (1998-2001).
In addition to assignments at the State Department in Washington, DC, Ambassador Walkley served in Yaounde, Lahore, Pretoria, Islamabad, London, and Port Louis. In 1993, during the international intervention in Somalia (“Operation Restore Hope”), he was seconded to the United Nations and sent to Somalia, where he served as the U.N. spokesman in Mogadishu.
Ambassador Walkley holds degrees from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Southern California (USC). He is the recipient of two U.S. Presidential Awards, as well as numerous State Department Superior Honor and other awards.