Pres. Biden Nominates New Ambassador to Liberia to Replace Amb. McCarthy
MONROVIA – The Joe Biden Administration has nominated Mark Christopher Toner as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Liberia.
If confirmed, he would be replacing Michael McCarthy who has served in the capacity since January 22, 2021.
Amb. McCarthy would be remembered by Liberians for his strong stance against corruption and his unapologetic criticisms of ills in the Liberian government.
The Weah-led administration was hard hit with three U.S. Sanctions under the Magnitsky Act affecting three officials (now ex-officials) of the Weah administration and two Senators. The Liberian government has constantly termed these sanctions as maneuverings of the members of the opposition bloc.
Amb. McCarthy’s replacement comes barely a week after Pres. Weah’s visit to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Headquarters in Virginia on the invitation of CIA Director William J. Burns. Official details the closed-door meeting is yet to be disclosed to the public.
It is not clear whether Amb. McCarthy’s recall is a fruit of the Langley meeting. However, what remains clear is that he remains a ‘lame duck’, i.e., being unable to make any serious policy announcements until his successor assumes office.
His successor, Mark Christopher Toner, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as the Minister Counselor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. Previously, Toner was a Senior Advisor at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and a Senior Faculty Advisor at the National Defense University. Earlier, Toner held positions as the State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson, Acting Spokesperson, and as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of European Affairs.
He has also served as the Director of Press Operations in the Bureau of Public Affairs and Director of Press and Public Affairs in the Bureau of European Affairs.
Toner was also Spokesperson at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. Prior to joining the State Department, Toner served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame and his Master’s from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C. He speaks French and Polish.