Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Visits the Kingdom of Lesotho

Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Shannon Smith visited Lesotho from November 1-3, 2014 to highlight the strong partnership between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Lesotho. During her visit she met with government officials, including the Prime Minister, Minister of Health, and acting Foreign Minister with whom she discussed the current political environment, the SADC facilitation process, and the way forward. She also met with donor partners, Mandela Washington Fellows, Peace Corps volunteers, and members of the Embassy community.

One highlight of her visit was meeting with the young Basotho leaders who participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship this past summer.  She heard from each of them about the value of their exchange experience in the U.S. and listened to how they are incorporating their new skills and knowledge into their future plans that will benefit both their communities and Lesotho as a country.

DAS Smith also had the pleasure of visiting with a Peace Corps volunteer who teaches in a primary school in the district of Mafeteng.  This volunteer is one of 110 Peace Corps volunteers in Lesotho who give two years of service working alongside Basotho to improve their lives and their communities.

Dr. Shannon Smith was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs in May 2013.  Prior to joining the State Department, she served as the senior policy adviser for Africa and global health for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2007 to 2013 under Chairmen Biden, Kerry, and Menendez.