Elliott School Professor Named as Foreign Minister of Tanzania

Liberata Mulamula, the former assistant director for the Elliott School Institute for African Studies, will now lead the country’s diplomacy efforts.

Liberata Mulamula
Ms. Mulamula, a GW visiting scholar who formerly served as the assistant director for the Elliott School’s Institute for African Studies, has more than 35 years of experience in working in foreign missions.
April 06, 2021

Tanzania’s new President Samia Suluhu has appointed Liberata Mulamula of the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs as a member of parliament and the new minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

Ms. Mulamula, a GW visiting scholar who formerly served as the assistant director for the Elliott School’s Institute for African Studies (IAfS), will now lead Tanzania’s diplomatic efforts.

She is the 16th foreign affairs minister and only the second woman to secure the role after Asha-Rose Migiro, who served from 2006-2007.

Jennifer Cooke, current IAfS director, congratulated Ms. Mulamula, calling her an “inspired choice” for the role.

“She is a skilled diplomat and communicator, widely respected in international forums and an outspoken champion for civil engagement, peacebuilding and women’s empowerment,” Ms. Cooke said. “She has been a tremendous asset to the Institute for African Studies and to the Elliott School. She has mentored countless students, and we have all benefited from her energy, experience, her personal warmth and her infectious good humor. We will miss her dearly but will be cheering her on as she takes up her new role.”

The new appointment serves as a promotion for Ms. Mulamula, who has served as the permanent secretary to the most recent foreign affairs minister, Palamagamba Kabudi, who was recently appointed as minister of justice and constitutional affairs, since 2015. In that role, she provided managerial and administrative support to the ministry’s staff and Tanzania diplomatic envoys abroad.

Ms. Mulamula brings more than 35 years of experience working in foreign missions to the new position.

Over the years she has served in various capacities at the Tanzania Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its diplomatic missions in New York, including a permanent mission to the United Nations, as well as Canada and the United States.

Prior to her work at the ministry, she served as Tanzania’s ambassador to the United States and Mexico. During her tenure in Washington as Tanzania's ambassador to the U.S., Ms. Mulamula participated in organizing the first U.S.-Africa summit on the partnership for economic growth.

Before that, Ms. Mulamula served as special adviser to former Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikewete on all diplomatic matters.

Between 2006 and 2011, she served as the first executive secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lake Region of Africa for Peace, Stability and Development, where she oversaw 11 post-conflict countries.

In 2015, she was awarded the Order of the United Republic of Tanzania Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Ms. Mulamula received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Dar-es Salaam in Tanzania. She also has a master’s degree in government and politics as well as a postgraduate diploma in international law from St. John’s University in New York.

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