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Ambassador June Carter-Perry

June Carter-Perry is a former educator, diplomat, and U.S. State Department official. Her lengthy and multi-faceted diplomatic career included service as the U.S. ambassador to both Lesotho and Sierra Leone.

June Carter was born on November 13, 1943  in Texarkana, Arkansas. Her mother was in the Peace Corps long after she grew up, not while she was a child. She graduated from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois in 1965, earning a bachelor’s degree in history. She earned a master’s degree in European history from the University of Chicago in 1967.

Perry served as director of public affairs forWGMS/RKO Radio Corporation in Washington, D.C. from 1972 to 1974. In October 1974, she became special assistant in the Community Services Administration, a national anti-poverty agency. That experience was followed by her appointment, in 1976, as public affairs director of ACTION. In that post, one she held until 1982, Perry oversaw public relations for both the Peace Corps and its domestic counterpart, VISTA.

Perry began her career as a State Department Foreign Service officer in 1983. Over the course of more than twenty-five years, she worked at U.S. embassies in Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Paris, France. Early in her career, Perry served as deputy chief of mission in both Madagascar and the Central African Republic. She also served as a senior advisor to the Africa Bureau’s assistant secretary.   

In addition, she served as director of the State Department’s Office of Social and Humanitarian Affairs, where she was responsible for U.S. policy related to the United Nations Commissions dealing with issues related to women and human rights. She also served as deputy director for public policy and planning in the Political and Military Affairs Bureau and assistant to the deputy secretary of state. Perry also did a stint in the State Department’s Africa Bureau.

Appointed ambassador to Lesotho in 2004, she was the American chief of that mission from 2004 to 2007. While in Lesotho, she initiated the first Lesotho–U.S. trade mission in 2005. Perry’s work in Lesotho earned her an appointment as ambassador to Sierra Leone, and she served as head of that mission until 2009. Perry’s distinguished efforts in the State Department have been recognized with many accolades, including the Diplomat-in-Residence of the Year Award and the Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.  Perry retired from the State Department in 2010.

In 2011, Perry served as the Cyrus Vance Visiting Professor at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Previously she served as the diplomat-in-residence at Howard University in 2001 and taught at the University of Maryland at College Park, North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Missouri. In 2014, Perry served as a guest lecturer at the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Africare, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the people of Africa.