Major Molina-Schaefer in uniform

MAJ Maia Molina-Schaefer

Assistant Professor, French

Desk Chief


A native of Washington, D.C., MAJ Molina-Schaefer is an Army Sub-Saharan Africa Foreign Area Officer (FAO, 48J).  A 2005 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, MAJ Molina-Schaefer commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps as a Marine Air Ground Task Force Intelligence Officer. After two combat deployments to Iraq, MAJ Molina-Schaefer was selected to be a Sub-Saharan Africa FAO.  She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs with a Sub-Saharan Africa specialization from the Naval Post Graduate School, and attended the Defense Language Institute for French and Swahili. 

After finishing a combat deployment to Afghanistan, MAJ Molina-Schaefer completed an Inter-Service transfer to the U.S. Army. In 2015, MAJ Molina-Schaefer arrived at U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany, where she first served as the J5 Desk Officer for Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi, and then as the Deputy Executive Officer for the Deputy to the USAFRICOM Commander for Civil-Military Engagement. From 2018-2021, MAJ Molina-Schaefer served as the Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger.

MAJ Molina-Schaefer is married to LTC Thomas A. Lainis, an instructor in the Department of Systems Engineering; and they have 1 son.