Elaine French is the deputy chief of mission at the U.S Embassy Freetown. She was previously the deputy political counselor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) overseeing African, European, peacekeeping and peacebuilding issues at the UN Security Council. Before joining USUN, she served as an advisor on African affairs, refugees and global issues to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon. Previous postings include the United Kingdom, South Sudan, Colombia, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She has also served as the senior desk officer for the African Union and multilateral issues for the Bureau of African Affairs. Before joining the Department of State in 2001, Elaine worked with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Oxfam America, and the Center for Conflict Resolution in South Africa. Elaine holds a BA from Smith College and a master of arts in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.