Leslie V. Rowe
A career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Leslie Rowe served at posts in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific.
As Ambassador to Mozambique, she represented the U.S. on issues relating to democracy and anti-corruption, regional security, global health, food security, women’s issues and the promotion of bilateral and regional trade. She led the President’s Emergency Program for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and the President’s Malaria Initiative, overseeing the activities of USAID, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Peace Corps, the State Department and the Department of Defense.
Prior to Mozambique, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In the Pacific, she led the U.S. response to several tsunamis and earthquakes, overseeing crucial U.S. emergency assistance. She also supported programs to empower Pacific women and protect the environment. Ambassador Rowe led U.S. agencies to significantly increase health programs in Papua New Guinea and improve medical services to people living with HIV.
As the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, she managed the largest U.S. Mission in Sub-Saharan Africa, comprised of eighteen government agencies with extensive regional responsibilities, including Somalia and Southern Sudan. She oversaw implementation of complex foreign policy issues, including counterterrorism, regional maritime security, development of democratic institutions and the establishment of the PEPFAR program in Kenya.
She also served as Consul General in Bangkok, Thailand with regional responsibilities at the U.S embassies in Burma, Cambodia and Laos, and earlier was Consul General in Lisbon, Portugal. In Washington D.C., she set up and directed the State Department’s first Office of Children’s Issues, dealing with international child abduction and adoption. She was Principal Officer of the U.S. Consulate in Recife, Brazil, covering politics, human rights, economic development and promoting bilateral trade in seven states in northeast Brazil. Earlier in her career, she served at the U.S. Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica and the U.S. Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In her last post, she was the Secretary of State’s Special Envoy for Global Health Diplomacy and set up the new Office of Global Health diplomacy. She led her team to support ambassadors and U.S. Embassy staffs in advancing U.S. global health goals.
Ambassador Rowe is currently on the Advisory Committee of the World Affairs Council of Miami.
Ambassador Rowe holds a B.A. from Washington State University, an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a M.Ed. from Northeastern University. She studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France and was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she was Director of the International Office at Tufts University. She speaks French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.
She is married to Ted Dieffenbacher, an educator, and they have three children. In 2014, Ambassador Rowe retired from the State Department and now lives in Coral Gables, Florida.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of Global Ties Miami and serves on the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition Florida Advisory Committee. She is also a mentor for Women of Tomorrow, a mentor and scholarship program for high school students. Ambassador Rowe is currently writing a book on women in diplomacy.