New ambassador to Sierra Leone hails from northwest Indiana

Amb. Maria Brewer (Photo Courtesy: Northwest Indiana Times)

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A northwest Indiana native is the new U.S. ambassador to Sierra Leone.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that Portage native Maria Brewer has served in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and other locations during her career with the U.S. State Department.

Brewer graduated in 1991 from Portage High School and in 1995 from Valparaiso University, where she studied international economics and cultural affairs.

Brewer became a foreign service officer in 1996. She says she “fell in love with Africa” during her first tour in Nigeria.

Brewer says she wants art of the Indiana Dunes on the wall in her new home in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, so she can show visitors what her hometown is like. She says she’ll also take along her Midwestern values of being rooted in reality, yet optimistic.