ACCESSION NUMBER:281634 FILE ID:AEF101 DATE:05/03/93 TITLE:A SCHOOLHOUSE IN TANZANIA LED TO TOP U.S. AFRICA POST (05/03/93) TEXT:*93050301.AEF SUB:MOOSE CO:SWEAR-IN/BIO/POLICY,#JFT(FR)rlc,HRsp *AEF101 05/03/93 * A SCHOOLHOUSE IN TANZANIA LED TO TOP U.S. AFRICA POST (FR) (Assistant Secretary Moose sworn in) (610) By Jim Fisher-Thompson USIA Staff Writer WASHINGTON -- Ambassador George Moose, the career diplomat President Bill Clinton has named to be assistant secretary of state for African affairs, has gone from building schools in Tanzania to building bridges of understanding to Africa, according to Deputy Secretary of State Clifford Wharton. Speaking at Moose's oath-taking ceremony in the ornate Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department April 27, Wharton described how the 48-year-old diplomat, who succeeded Assistant Secretary Herman Cohen, first became interested in a career in the foreign service. "George caught the foreign service bug" early on, Wharton explained, and "we can credit his entry into public service to a three-room schoolhouse in Tanzania," which he helped build the summer he spent there in 1965 as a young college student. "That did it," Wharton said. "George was hooked on foreign work" and two years later he joined the diplomatic corps. Now, after having served as American ambassador to Benin, and then to Senegal, he will be based in 1ashington building "bridges of understanding" between America and the continent. "George's great experience, knowledge, and interest in Africa," Wharton added, "will enrich the (Africa) Bureau, our relations with African governments, and the lives of both Africans and Americans." Turning toward Moose, who was accompanied by his wife and mother, Wharton said: "I'm grateful to the people of Tanzania for bringing you to a career in the foreign service." Surrounded by his family, friends, and colleagues, Moose then took the oath of office, pledging to defend the Constitution as all U.S. civil servants, including the president, must swear to do. His hand was on the Bible, held by his wife Judith. The dean of the Washington diplomatic corps, Cameroonian Ambassador Paul Pondi, was in attendance, as well as a number of other African ambassadors. Also in the audience were students and faculty from Washington's mainly black Cardozo High School who are a part of the model United Nations program, sponsored by the State Department. Secretary Moose and his wife help run this program. In an earlier interview with the U.S. Information Agency, the secretary noted that his rise in the foreign service was "a dream come true" made possible by his family and a score of individuals who befriended him and provided support to his career. He gave special credit to his mother, Ellen Moose, for inculcating in him and in his sister, a physician, the spirit of public service. Moose, who was formerly deputy director of the State Department's Office of Southern African Affairs and an African affairs analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, said he felt a sense of awe "when confronting the challenges facing the continent of Africa." He said he understood full well that Africa is facing a "reality of peoples who despite great difficulties struggle with hope to build lives of well-being and dignity. "Given our own country's special historical connection to Africa, the unique ways Africa has influenced our culture," he continued, "I think we as Americans are especially well placed to feel and understand" what can be done to assist in the continents's move toward democratization and economic prosperity. Efforts "to construct a society in which it is possible for anyone, regardless of race, religion, and national origin, to fulfill the full measure of his or her potential," Secretary Moose said, are the "vision of America" and the example which will guide his actions toward the continent. NNNN .