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Ambassador's Biography

Ambassador Jeanine E. Jackson (Photo by State Department)

Ambassador Jeanine E. Jackson

Ambassador Jeanine Jackson, a native of Wyoming, came to Malawi following a two-year assignment as Minister Counselor for Management at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.  As such, she provided in a war zone, the support platform for the world’s largest Embassy.  She simultaneously led the planning and implementation processes required to expand the number of diplomatic establishments throughout Iraq and to take over myriad support functions previously provided by the US military.  Ambassador Jackson received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Honor Award for leading the Iraq military to civilian transition effort.

Ambassador Jackson is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Reserve.  She has served as a diplomat in Switzerland, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Kenya, and Afghanistan.  She was appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso where her focus from 2006-2009 was improved military cooperation and increased infrastructure and development assistance for that West African Country.

Ambassador Jackson has been a key player in activities related to creating, adapting, rebuilding and reopening different U.S. Embassies:  As Post Management Officer for the Soviet Union at the time of its dissolution, she managed from Washington and on the ground the establishment of U.S. Embassies in the 14 new countries left in its wake.

In Hong Kong she established programs to protect the interests of all U.S. Government civilian, military, and local employees at the time of the British Colony’s reversion to Chinese sovereignty.  In Kenya following the Al Qaeda bombing, she served as Supervisory General Services Officer of the largest Embassy in Africa and was key to reestablishing its operations and infrastructure.  In Afghanistan in 2001, Ambassador Jackson led the team that reopened the U.S. Embassy and then returned to Kabul in 2002 and served as the Embassy’s Management Counselor until 2003.  From Kabul she went to Washington where she was the Department of State’s Management Coordinator responsible for the Inter-Agency effort to reestablish the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. 

In Burkina Faso she negotiated a bilateral agreement which enabled U.S. Special Operations Command to regularize and accelerate its counter-terrorism work against Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and enabled a five hundred million dollar Millennium Challenge Corporation grant for infrastructure, education and agricultural projects.  Concurrently, she orchestrated a greatly improved, bilateral development relationship, cementing strong and mutually supportive ties between the Governments and peoples of Burkina Faso and the United States.

Prior to entering the Foreign Service, Ambassador Jackson worked in Saigon as a civil service employee in the Office of the U.S. Defense Attaché and then served 10 years as an active duty Army officer, primarily in Germany and Korea.  She continued her military service for an additional 20 years as a reservist while pursuing her Foreign Service career.

Ambassador Jackson earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education followed by a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  She is an accomplished pianist.  She met her husband Mark when they were both Army Lieutenants serving in Germany.  He is a retired colonel of the U.S. Army Reserve and is also a retired member of the Senior Foreign Service. Enamored of Africa’s cultures, they have independently traveled more than 30,000 miles on the African continent.

Updated October 2012