Ambassador for the Republic of Malawi to the USA

His Excellency Stephen D. Matenje, S.C., became Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Malawi to the United States of America on September 16, 2010, the day he presented Letters of Credence to U.S. President Barack H. Obama. He is also accredited to Bahamas, Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico on a non­residential basis.

Prior to his appointment as Malawi’s envoy to the U.S., Ambassador Matenje served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations from November 2006 to May 2010. He previously served as Solicitor General of Malawi and Permanent Secretary in Malawi’s Ministry of Justice from September 1995 to July 2006. As Solicitor General, Ambassador Matenje acted, by operation of the law, as Attorney General in the absence of the holder of that office.

As Malawi’s envoy to the United Nations, Ambassador Matenje participated, among other things, in debates in the UN General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, etc., and UN Commission and Funds on various issues of concern to Malawi and other developing countries including peace and security, trade, and social, economic and sustainable development. A public servant in the Malawi Civil Service since 1980, Ambassador Matenje started his legal career in the Ministry of Justice as a State Attorney before becoming Parliamentary Counsel. As Solicitor General, Ambassador Matenje represented the Malawi Government in civil, constitutional and judicial review cases and was involved in advising the Government on a wide range of legal issues. He also represented the Government in negotiations with Malawi’s bilateral and multilateral partners including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development, European Union, and European Investment Bank for financing for various development projects in Malawi.

As Parliamentary Draftsman, Ambassador Matenje was responsible for drafting legislation on behalf of the Malawi Government and its passage through Malawi’s parliament. After reading law at the University of Malawi where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (with Honors), he pursued post­graduate studies in the United Kingdom and holds a Master of Arts in Business Law from the City of London Polytechnic and a Diploma in International Law from the University College London. He also holds a Commonwealth Certificate in Legislative Drafting. Ambassador Matenje was created Senior Counsel (SC), an honor bestowed on lawyers who have distinguished themselves in Malawi, by the President of the Republic of Malawi in 2004.

Ambassador Matenje has served on the Boards of several Malawi parastatal organizations including the Council on Legal Education of Malawi and the Disciplinary Committee of the Malawi Law Society, which he also chaired. He is currently the Vice President of the Board of the International Eye Foundation (IEF), and a member of the Boards of the Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa (AGE Africa), the New York­based Global Student Leadership Program (GSL) and the African Presidential Centre (APC) at Boston University.

Ambassador Matenje is married to Isabel and they have four children together.