Marie-Hélène Mathey Boo Lowumba was named ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the United States on January 11, 2022, by Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi. She is preceded by Ambassador François Nkuna Balumuene. Prior to her appointment, she served as Ambassador of the Republic of Congo to Gabon, Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Weights & Measures in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Director of External Relations and Governance of the World Health Organization (WHO) among other positions.
Marie-Hélène Mathey Boo was born in Kinshasa on November 30th 1943 to Marie Mpisomi Yamba and Reverend Pierre Boo Nsuba Lokwankosi. Through the International Christian Youth Exchange, she received her High School Diploma at Woodside High School in California and later studied sociology at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in Glenside, Pennsylvania. At the Free University of Brussels in Belgium (ULB), she earned her Doctorate in law with a focus in International Law, marking the beginning of a career in diplomacy and advising. It is here that she met her late husband René Mathey, who hailed from the neighboring and sister Republic of Congo.
Through her long diplomatic career in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo,
Nigeria, and Gabon, Marie-Hélène Mathey Boo has served in an array of fields, including bilateral
and multilateral diplomacy, jurisdiction, economics, resource mobilization, international relations,
and community development. Having completed their studies in Belgium, she and her husband
René Mathey moved to Brazzaville, launching her career in diplomacy. From 1972 to 1973, Marie-
Hélène Mathey Boo was Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Congo. In that
capacity, she negotiated new cooperation agreements and Law of the Sea agreements between
France and the Republic of Congo. Between 1973 and 1975, she would work in several other
positions in the Republic of Congo, including diplomat and judicial advisor to the presidential
cabinet, economic advisor to the embassy, and professor of International Law and Diplomacy at
The National University of Administration in Brazzaville.
In 1977, Marie-Hélène Mathey Boo worked as Chief Administrator for the Center for Industrial
Development in Brussels. During this tenure, she actively participated in preparing Africa's first
industrial forum. In Gabon, she founded the Institut Sous-Régional de Technologie Appliquée,
while in Nigeria, she served as Country Director for the United Nations Industrial Development
As Minister of Trade, Medium and Small-Scale Enterprises, and Crafts beginning in April 2001,
she worked to expand infrastructure and promote investment. Marie-Hélène Mathey Boo was
named ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the Republic of Gabon, and served a
two-year term from 2003 to 2005. For her extensive service in the Republic of Gabon, she was
awarded the nation's Medal of the Commandeur de L'Étoile Équatoriale. Marie-Hélène Mathey
Boo also served as the executive director of the Centre International des Civilisations Bantu
(CICIBA) from 2005 to 2009. From 2010 to 2021, she worked as a senior consultant in the private
sectors of law, mediation, and resource mobilization.