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Alyson Grunder

Former Associate Director, Africa Program and Senior Diplomatic Fellow, State Department


    September 1, 2021 — July 15, 2022

    Professional affiliation

    Senior Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State; former Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Monrovia, Liberia; former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State

    Wilson Center Projects

    Providence Island, Liberia:  Historic Preservation and Redevelopment Initiative

    Full Biography

    Alyson Grunder was an Associate Director and a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center Africa Program, detailed from the U.S. Department of State, where she is a senior foreign service officer with the rank of Minister-Counselor.  Alyson served most recently as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia from 2018 to 2021, leading the U.S. Mission’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Previously, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Senior Bureau Official in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) from 2015 to 2018, managing the Bureau’s alumni outreach, innovation, evaluation and monitoring, cultural heritage and policy offices.  A public diplomacy specialist, Alyson served as Public Affairs Counselor at U.S. Embassies in Baghdad, Iraq (2014 to 2015) during the ISIS incursions, as well as in Addis Ababa Ethiopia (2009-2011), Kampala, Uganda (2005-2007) and Montreal, Canada (2002-2005).  She was Acting Spokesperson at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on 9/11 while serving in the USUN press office (1999-2002).  Other postings include Director of the New York Foreign Press Center (2009-20011) and Director of the Multilateral and Global Affairs office (2007-2009) in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at State Department headquarters.

    Alyson is a graduate of Yale University with a B.A. degree in American Studies.  She is married to musician and composer Rick Bassett.  They have two adult children.