Brenda B. Schoonover, Former U.S. Ambassador to Togo
Ambassador Brenda Schoonover was United States Ambassador to the Republic of Togo, January 1998 - July 2000.
Ambassador Brenda Brown Schoonover was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She began her overseas service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1961 in the Philippines with one of the first groups to go abroad at the inception of the Peace Corps. She later served in the Peace Corps' Office of Talent Search, then as Associate Director of the Peace Corps in Tanzania, followed by an appointment as Director of the agency's School Partnership Program. In the mid-seventies, Ambassador Schoonover worked for two years for the Government of Arlington County, Virginia, as the county's Affirmative Action Officer.
Ambassador Schoonover has been with the Department of State for 21 years in a variety of administrative positions in the Philippines; Sri Lanka; Tunisia; and in the Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs. From 1988 to 1991, she was the Chief of Personnel for the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. From 1992-96 she was Administrative Officer/Deputy Director for the Office of Joint Administrative Services, U.S. Embassy, Brussels, Belgium. She is an alumnus of the Senior Seminar, which is the State Department's advanced professional development program for senior foreign policy and national security officers of the United States Government, and of the National Defense University's Capstone Program given to flag officers and equivalents.
Ambassador Schoonover has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, and did graduate studies at Howard University, Washington, D.C., in connection with participation in the Cardozo High School Urban Teaching Program, which focused on inner city school curriculum development. She is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
The Ambassador speaks French. She is married to Richard C. Schoonover, a former Foreign Service officer retired from the former United States Information Agency (now known as the Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs section of the State Department).
Since her arrival in Togo in January 1998, the Ambassador has spoken at several conferences and seminars, such as the Seminar on the Future of NORPLANT Contraceptives in West Africa and Haiti, sponsored by the Family Health and Prevention of AIDS organization; and a conference on the U.S. Judiciary System, sponsored by the former United States Information Service. In September of the same year, the Ambassador presented to the Government of Togo hospital and school supplies donated by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Ambassador has also welcomed several groups of Peace Corps Volunteers to Togo and in April 1998, participated in the Peace Corps All-Volunteer Conference in Pagala, Togo.