Emeritus Board Member
Former U.S. Ambassador to Togo in West Africa
Ambassador Brenda Brown Schoonover is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer. She was appointed United States Ambassador to Togo, where she served for three years. Her last overseas assignment before retiring to Chapel Hill, North Carolina was Deputy Chief of Mission (Deputy to the Ambassador) to the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. There she was Charge d’Affaires ad Interim (acting ambassador) for a considerable part of her three-year tour. Prior to Brussels, Brenda was Diplomat-in-Residence at UNC-Chapel Hill. She and her late husband, Richard Schoonover, also a Foreign Service Officer, had tandem assignments in Belgium, Washington, D.C., Sri Lanka, the Philippines and twice in Tunisia. Before joining the U.S. State Department, she accompanied her husband on his three-year assignment to Nigeria. The Ambassador is a native of Maryland, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore with one year of graduate studies at Howard University. Having volunteered for the U.S. Peace Corps at its inception, she is a charter member of the Corps (Philippines, Group One). Her Peace Corps management positions included Associate Director in Tanzania for two years followed by Director of the School Partnership Program in Washington, D.C. Brenda is past president and a current member of the Board of Directors of the online publication, American Diplomacy, and a member of the North Carolina Advisory Committee for the U. S. Global Leadership Coalition. She is Acting Chair of The Carolina Friends of the Foreign Service and President of the University of North Carolina Woman’s Club.