Melanie Harris Higgins is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, with 25 years of experience representing the United States. She presented her credentials as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi on March 2, 2021. Prior to her posting as Ambassador, she was the Director of the Office of Central African Affairs (AF/C), leading U.S. policy toward the region where she began her career. From 2015-2018, she was Principal Officer and Consul General at the U.S. Consulate-General in Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to this posting, she was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Ambassador Higgins has also served in the U.S. Embassies in Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia, and Cameroon, and has worked in the State Department’s Operations Center, as Acting Public Affairs Advisor in the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, and as the Thailand Desk Officer. Ambassador Higgins joined the Foreign Service in 1998 and is married to a Diplomatic Security Special Agent. She speaks Indonesian, French and some Bosnian. She attended Johns Hopkins University for her B.A. in International Relations, and received an M.A. from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).