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Spotlight: Candace Bates

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

May 2019

TLG salutes Candace L. Bates, a member of the Career Foreign Service, currently serving as Senior Congressional Advisor in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs in the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity, she manages all of the Department’s engagements with the U.S. Congress on activities related to East Asian and Pacific Affairs, International Organizations, Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Global Food Security, and Global AIDS Coordination. Prior to this position, Candace served as Policy Advisor and Regional Team Lead in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, helping drive the Department of State policy to support women’s political and economic participation; remove barriers to women’s and girls’ access to education; increase women’s role in conflict resolution; and combat violence against women and girls in all its forms.

For Candace, the most exciting aspect of working in the Department is knowing that at each juncture there is an opportunity to make a difference - to work on issues that matter to real people in their real lives across the globe. She notes that it is truly humbling. Candace also served as population policy officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, negotiating in international fora to advance U.S. international population policy, through resolutions that address HIV/AIDS, maternal and child mortality and morbidity, gender based violence, among other issues.

Candace’s other assignments include Ciudad-Juarez, Mexico where she served as visa and fraud prevention officer and Dublin, Ireland as Chief of American Citizen Services. She returned to Washington, D.C. to serve as the Director of Internet Freedom and Communication and Information Policy for Russia, the Newly Independent States, and the Balkans to advocate for international policies to achieve greater liberalization of telecommunication markets and broader opportunities for U.S. companies to participate in the global market.

Candace is native of Mobile, Alabama and a member of the first cohort of Charles B. Rangel Fellows for International Affairs. She earned a bachelor's degree from Florida A&M University and juris doctor from the University Of North Carolina School Of Law, Chapel Hill. She is married to Mechanical Engineer Johnny Sanders and has a little girl.

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