About Us

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Fred

(Until I put together a civilian bio, here is my old one:}

Ambassador Frederick B. Cook served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commandant of the Marine Corps from 2010 until his retirement from the Foreign Service in 2011.

His previous assignment was as ambassador of the United States to the Central African Republic, where he served 2007 through 2010. Prior to his arrival in Bangui, Central African Republic, Mr. Cook was assigned as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, a US military force based at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. His previous overseas assignment was as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.

Joining the Foreign Service in 1972, Mr. Cook has served in Africa, the Western Hemisphere, and Washington, in all Foreign Service disciplines except Economics and Public Diplomacy. A Management Cone officer, he has served as Management Officer in La Paz, Bolivia, Havana, Cuba, Gaborone, Botswana, and Monrovia, Liberia. Washington assignments have included Deputy Director of Information Resources Management in the Executive Secretariat, Labor Advisor for the Bureau of African Affairs, and Systems Development Officer for the Office of Overseas Buildings.

Mr. Cook is the co-recipient of the Department of State’s Luther I. Replogle Award for Management Improvement, Superior Honor, Performance Pay, and other awards. He also holds the Defense Meritorious Service medal.

Born in Washington, D.C., Mr. Cook was raised in the Foreign Service, living in India, Jordan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in history from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Mr. Cook’s foreign languages are Spanish, French, and Sango.

Mr. Cook is married to the former Miss Denise Pollard of Portsmouth, England, the daughter of a retired Royal Navy officer. They met in Douala, Cameroon, where she was serving as a translator for the Pan African Institute for Development. Ms. Cook has also worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of State, and the former U.S. Information Service. They have two children, a daughter who is a special/primary education teacher and a son who has just left the military after serving as a platoon commander in the United States Army in Afghanistan.

 

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Denise

I was born in the UK and grew up there, except for a two and a half year transfer to Sydney, Australia. After completing a BA at the University of Reading, I headed to Douala, Cameroon for a two year stint with International Voluntary Service, (a British Peace Corps organization) to work as a translator/interpreter in French and English. While there, I met a young Vice Consul from the US called Fred Cook and we found we both enjoyed travelling overland. We made several trips around Cameroon, on unpaved roads, in dry season and in the rains, and I became the ultimate tailgate cook using whatever I could scrounge locally with the occasional French prepackaged meal!

In fact, we both enjoyed overland travel so much that, we we completed our tours in Cameroon, we traveled overland to the UK, across Nigeria, Niger, Algeria, Tunisia and into Italy and then France. The trip lasted almost two months and provided incredible memories.

After we married in Arlington, Virginia., we were assigned to Guayaquil, Ecuador where our over land journeys continued, both in country and on a jaunt to La Paz, Bolivia, with interim stops in Peru and in Cuzco to view Macchu Pichu. We have continued to work overseas for much of the time and have continued to travel by road as much as we could. Now that we are retired, we look forward to continuing our road travels in Ndeke Luka.

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