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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Shakopee, Minnesota)
For Immediate Release                                       May 12, 2000
                       U. S. AMBASSADOR TO BENIN

     The President today announced his intent to nominate Pamela E.

Bridgewater to be U. S. Ambassador to the Republic of Benin.

Ms. Pamela E. Bridgewater was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia and is an eighteen-year Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor. She held two assignments at the Department of State as Political Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and United Kingdom Desk Officer and Deputy Coordinator of Population Affairs in the Bureau of Oceans and International Scientific Affairs. Her foreign assignments were as Vice Consul and General Services Officer in Brussels, Belgium, Political Officer/Labor Attache in Kingston, Jamaica and as Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. In 1993, Ms. Bridgewater was named Consul General in Durban, South Africa, the first woman to serve as principal officer in Durban. She received two State Department Superior Honor Awards for facilitating South Africa's historic transition to democracy. In 1996 she became Deputy Chief of Mission in Nassau, The Bahamas. Ms. Bridgewater is currently a member of The Department of State's 42nd Senior Seminar, an executive leadership program for senior foreign affairs professionals.

Before entering the Diplomatic Corps in 1980 she had been a member of the political science faculties at Morgan State University, Bowie State University and Voorhees College.

Ms. Bridgewater received a B.A. from Virginia State University and an M.A. from the University of Cincinnati, where she was a Danforth Fellow. She also successfully completed the Harvard University Trade Union Program. Her language is French.