United States of America President, Joe Biden has nominated Mark Christopher Toner as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Liberia.
If confirmed, Mr. Torner will replace the tough talking Ambassador, Michael McCarthy who has served since January 22, 2021.
Amb. McCarthy will however be remembered by thousand of Liberians for his strong stance against corruption and his unapologetic criticisms of ills in the Liberian government.
Furthermore, Amb. McCarthy’s replacement comes barely a week after Pres. Weah’s visit to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Headquarters in Virginia on the invitation of CIA Director William J. Burns although official details of the closed-door meeting is yet to be disclosed to the public.
Additionally, while the outgoing Ambassador’s term in Liberia is a bit short, as compared to some of his predecessor, he is leaving with a strong legacy and key amongst his achievements is the sanctioning of three top officials of the Weah led-administration that subsequently led to their resignation.
The New Ambassador-designate:
Ambassador Mark Christopher Toner, according to the White House, is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as the Minister Counselor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France.
Previously, Toner was a Senior Advisor at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and a Senior Faculty Advisor at the National Defense University. Earlier, Toner held positions as the State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson, Acting Spokesperson, and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs.
He has also served as the Director of Press Operations in the Bureau of Public Affairs and Director of Press and Public Affairs in the Bureau of European Affairs. Toner was also Spokesperson at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium.
Prior to joining the State Department, Toner served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame and his Master’s from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. He speaks French and Polish.
It can be recalled that Ambassador McCarthy was nominated by former President Donald Trump to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Liberia on June 2, 2020. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 18, 2020.
Ambassador McCarthy is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. Previously, he served as Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General, Johannesburg, South Africa.
He has also served as the Director of the Office of Retirement in the Bureau of Human Resources in the State Department and the Deputy Chief of Mission for Embassy Juba in South Sudan.