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Ambassadors

Women are, by in large, good negotiators which is essential for effective diplomacy. They are particularly good at finding solutions acceptable to multiple parties. Highlighted here are female American diplomats who serve their country across the globe. 

Diplomacy Resources:

For the full biographies of the diplomats below, visit the biography page of the US Department of State for current diplomats or the department's archive for former diplomats. 

For more information, see the Council of American Ambassadors. This organization sponsors programs, including fellowships to develop young leaders in international affairs, forums and conferences, and overseas fact finding missions.

Diplomacy Matters is an organization that promotes diplomacy and person-to-person relationships throughout the world and has recently unveiled a Digital Diplomacy Initiative. This initiative increases access to ambassadors and embassy officials through web introductions and country specific webinars to promote cross-cultural diplomacy. Visit here for more information.

USEmbassy.gov provides easy access to the websites of US embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions across the world.


Denise Campbell Bauer


Denise Campbell Bauer was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium on June 21, 2013. She was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on August 2, 2013, and sworn in on August 7, 2013.

Ambassador Bauer has a life-long commitment to public service and civic engagement and has been active in political and community activities for more than two decades. From 2008 to 2012, she served on the Democratic National Committee, serving as Chair and Co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Forum and as Co-chair of the National Issues Conference. She was Finance Chair for Women for Obama from 2011 to 2012, and served on the Obama for America National Finance Committee from 2011 to 2012 and from 2007 to 2008. She also served as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Belvedere Community Foundation in Belvedere, California.

She began her career in television news and public affairs in Los Angeles, California. From 1993 to 1994, she was a Public Affairs Officer for the American Red Cross Bay Area in San Francisco, and from 1990 to 1992, she was a freelance film and video producer in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was the News Producer for the North American Bureau of Nine Network Australia in Los Angeles and also worked as Field Producer and Researcher for KCBS-TV News.

Ambassador Bauer graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in foreign affairs and national security. Her home state is California and she now lives in Brussels, Belgium with her husband, Steven M. Bauer, and their two daughters.


Alexa Wesner


Alexa Wesner was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Austria on June 27, 2013. She presented her credentials to Austrian Federal President, Heinz Fischer on October 22, 2013.

Ambassador Alexa Wesner was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Reston, Virginia. The daughter of immigrant parents, a German mother and Latvian father, she was the first in her family to attend a U.S. high school and university. Ms. Wesner was a high school all-American in track and cross-country, ranking second in the nation in both the 1600 and 3200 meter distances. She was also a varsity swimmer.

Ms. Wesner graduated from Stanford University in 1994 with a B.A. degree in Biology. She moved to Austin, Texas to join Trilogy Software in the early days of Austin’s technology boom. In 1997, she founded HireTECH, a recruiting and consulting company focused on high tech start-ups, also serving as President and CEO. In 2000, she founded her second company, Recruiting Labs, a web-based recruiting venture.

After a successful career as a high-tech chief executive and entrepreneur, Ms. Wesner turned her attention to politics and community development as both a fundraiser and a hands-on entrepreneur driving progressive causes on national, regional, and local levels. In local and state venues, Ms. Wesner is the founder of The Texas Civic Engagement Table, Engage Texas, Progress Texas, and the Texas Research Institute, designed to provide a lasting progressive infrastructure in Texas. The spectrum of activities spans civic engagement, organizational collaboration, voter empowerment, voter turn-out, primary research and both direct and collaborative messaging. Her ambitious efforts have earned support from various national foundations and unions, among others.

She has served on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities and the boards of Lifeworks (homeless youth), Breakthrough (a path to college for disadvantaged youth), Arthouse (contemporary art), The Blanton Museum of Art, GenAustin (raising self-esteem in and empowering young girls) and the Austin Film Society. She has served on the board of advisors of the Austin Museum of Art, and the Downtown Austin Alliance’s Parks Committee to preserve Austin’s downtown parks and urban spaces.

Ms. Wesner is an avid triathlete and runner. She has three children, Natalie Keep (9), Tennyson (5) and Livia (2) who inspired her to enter public service. She is married to Blaine Wesner, a venture capitalist and entrepreneur.


Linda Burnes Bolton


Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2012. Burnes Bolton is vice president for nursing, chief nursing officer, and director of nursing research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. She is one of the principal investigators at The Burns and Allen Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai.

Burnes Bolton is a past president of the American Academy of Nursing and the National Black Nurses Association. She is currently a member of the American Nurses Association, American Organization for Nurse Executives, Association of California Nurse Leaders, American Public Health Association, Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, National Black Nurses Association, and National League for Nursing. She has served as a trustee at Case Western Reserve University since 2006.


Hilary Rodham Clinton


Hilary Rodham Clinton is the former Secretary of State, Senator from New York, First Lady, and candidate for President, and is regarded as one of the most influential women in American and global politics. Her long career of public service began in Chicago after becoming impassioned by a speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. She attended Wellesley College and Yale Law School, where she met future President Bill Clinton. After graduation from Law School, she began practicing, focusing on child family law. In 1974 she moved to the University of Arkansas and began teaching but 2 years later joined the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was twice named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. When Mr. Clinton was elected governor, she chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee and co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, in addition to sitting on numerous boards championing the cause of children and families.

In 1992, she became the first lady when Mr. Clinton was elected president. Her tenure as First Lady was marked by scandal due to her assumption of a political role in the position. She was named by her husband to head the President’s Task Force on Health Care Reform and became the first First Lady to testify before Congress. She is the only First Lady to have held an office in the West Wing. Throughout her tenure she promoted child welfare and gender equality, domestically and internationally. Through her work with Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton became a global advocate for gender equity in economics, employment, health care and education and emphasized a civil society of human rights as a pathway to democracy. She also became one of the most vocal dissident with regard to the Taliban’s treatment of women in Afghanistan. Additionally, she started the ’Save America’s Treasures’ program to rescue or save iconic historic items and sites from destruction, gave monthly lectures via webcast in the East Room, over saw the restoration of the Blue Room, and hosted many events in the White House.

In 2000, she successfully ran for the U.S. Senate in New York and became the only former First Lady elected to public office. After the attacks of September 11, 2001 she secured $21.4 billion to assist in clean up of the site and provide health benefits and tracking for first responders and volunteers at Ground Zero. She became an advocate for retaining and improving health benefits for veterans, reforming public schools, unemployment insurance, and expanding environmental protections.

In 2008 she ran for the Democratic candidate for President against Barack Obama. Although she won many primaries, Obama secured the requisite number of delegates to win the party’s nomination. Upon his election, Mrs. Clinton was appointed the Secretary of State, the only First Lady to serve in a presidential cabinet. In this capacity she has championed gender equity and education across the globe. In her 4 years, she visited 112 countries, becoming the most traveled Secretary of State.

Hillary Clinton has been a diligent public servant her entire life and through each of her endeavors, she is changing the world.

Resources:

http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=43

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/biography/clinton-hillary/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/02/hillary-clinton-countries-travels_n_2602541.html


Brenda S. Davis


Brenda S. Davis, PhD, was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2013. She retired as corporate compliance officer and vice president of technical resources of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) after 15 years of service. Earlier, she served as vice president of government operations for J&J Health Care Systems, and as J&J’s vice president of state and environmental relations.

Before joining J&J, she served as a visiting fellow and associate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Prior to that she was a cabinet member, serving as chief of policy and planning, for Governor Thomas H. Kean during his second term as governor of New Jersey. Davis held other government and industry positions, including special assistant to the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and director of the Natural Resources Group at the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget.


Kathryn S. Fuller


Kathryn S. Fuller, JD, was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2011.

Fuller, prominent attorney and philanthropic leader, currently serves as chair of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; on the boards of directors of Alcoa, Inc., and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US); and as a trustee of the Greater Himalayas Foundation and The Summit Foundation. She was president and chief executive officer of WWF from 1989 until 2005. Prior to becoming president and CEO, she served as executive vice president, general counsel, and director of WWF’s programs in public policy and wildlife trade monitoring. Before joining WWF, Fuller was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, first in the Office of Legal Counsel, then as a trial attorney in the Land and Natural Resources Division, where she helped create the Wildlife and Marine Resources Section, becoming chief of that section in 1981. Fuller was a special adviser to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars from 2005 to 2006. She served on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees as member at large and chair, and on the Corporation of Brown University.


Patricia A. Gabow


Patricia A. Gabow, MD, is a national leader in hospital reform and public health care delivery. A nephrologist by training, she retired in 2012 after 20 years as CEO of Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA), an integrated health care system serving one of the poorest populations in the state of Colorado. Gabow is credited with transforming DHHA from a struggling public hospital system into a national model of integrated, fiscally stable, and high-quality care. One of the hallmarks of Gabow’s leadership was her introduction of business-based improvement methods to streamline operations, increase employee satisfaction, and develop new information technology systems, resulting in the elimination of wasteful spending while significantly enhancing patient care.

Listed as one of Modern Healthcare magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Health Care (2007, 2009), Gabow currently serves on several influential health care and health policy commissions, including the federal Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) and the National Governors’ Association Health Advisory Board. Previously she served on the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performing Health System and the Institute of Medicine committee addressing the future viability of safety net providers. She also was chair of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems.


JoAnn Heffernan Heisen


Business leader Heffernan Heisen retired in June 2008 from Johnson & Johnson (J&J) after 19 years in senior leadership. She joined J&J in 1989 as assistant treasurer and the corporation's first investor relations officer. In 1991, Heffernan Heisen was named treasurer and became the first female officer of the company. In 1995, she was named corporate controller and in 1997, was appointed vice president, chief information officer and a member of and the first woman to serve on the J&J Executive Committee. She became the company's first chief global diversity officer in 2006. Prior to joining J&J in 1989, Heffernan Heisen was vice president, Corporate Affairs, and a member of the Executive Committee at Primerica Corporation. Previously she served as chief financial officer for Kenmill Textile Corporation and as a second vice president and commercial lending officer with The Chase Manhattan Bank.

Heffernan Heisen is a member of the board of directors of the Vanguard Group, Inc., and its more than 160 mutual funds. She is a member of the advisory board of The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, the Economic Club of New York, the board of trustees for the University Medical Center at Princeton and the co-chair of the Design for Healing Campaign, which is raising funds for a new $440 million state-of-the-art hospital. Heffernan Heisen also serves as director of the Center for Work-Life Policy and is on the advisory board of Rutgers’ Institute for Women’s Leadership. She is past president of the Financial Women’s Association of New York, an honoree of the Princeton YWCA’s 1995 Tribute to Women in Industry and the recipient of the 1996 Johnson & Johnson Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Award. In 2005, Heffernan Heisen received the first Jill Ker Conway Women in Business Leadership Award, presented by Smith College. In l994, she received Syracuse University's Distinguished Alumni Award and, in 1998, Marymount Manhattan College’s Women in Urban Leadership Award.


Risa Lavizzo-Mourey


Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, is president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a position she has held since 2003. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health and health care.

At the federal level, Lavizzo-Mourey served as deputy administrator of what is now the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and worked on the White House Health Care Reform Task Force, co-chairing the working group on Quality of Care. She also has served on numerous federal advisory committees, including the Task Force on Aging Research, the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics and the President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. Additionally, she co-chaired a congressionally requested Institute of Medicine study on racial and ethnic disparities in health care.


Marrie Y. Schaefer


Marrie Schaefer is the Foreign Policy Advisor to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she serves as the U.S. Department of State Liaison and Advisor to the Commanding General of the U.S. Marine Corps, Pacific Command. Marrie Schaefer is the Foreign Policy Advisor to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she serves as the U.S. Department of State Liaison and Advisor to the Commanding General of the U.S. Marine Corps, Pacific Command.

Prior to joining MARFORPAC, she was the Public Diplomacy Advisor at the U.S. Pacific Command where she served as the lead delegate to the Symposium on East Asia Security in Beijing, Canberra, and Hanoi. In her previous assignment as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she directed a broad range of public diplomacy activities, including media relations and educational/cultural exchanges.

Ms. Schaefer holds a B.S. and M.S. from Northern Illinois University and a Certificate in Organization Development from Georgetown University. A recipient of U.S. Department of State Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, Ms. Schaefer speaks Japanese, French, and Bahasa Malaysia. An opera lover, and avid cyclist, skier, and hiker, she is married to retired Foreign Service Officer, Robert R. Kuntz II.


Ambassador Samantha Power

Samantha Power is the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Prior to this she served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council. Power most recently served as the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she taught courses on U.S. foreign policy, human rights, and extremism and where she was the founding Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Power began her career as a journalist and her work covering the Yugoslav Wars shaped her assertive views on human rights issues. She has served as a columnist at Time Magazine and has reported from Bosnia, East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, and contributed regularly to the New Yorker Magazine, the New York Review of Books, and the New Republic.

Samantha Power is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide (2002) and Chasing the Flame: Sergio Viera de Mello and the Fight to Save the World (2008), the basis for the award-winning HBO documentary, "Sergio."

Power is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.


Ambassador Vilama Socorro Martinez

Ambassador Vilama Socorro Martinez is the current U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. She is from San Antonio and received her law degree from Colombia. After graduation she joined the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the NAACP. In this role she represented a number of poor and minority clients. She then joined Chaill, Gordon, & Reindel in New York and joined the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of the first two women to do so. She was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Argentina in 2009 and is the first women to fill the post. She and her husband have two sons.


Ambassador Michelle D. Gavin

Michelle D. Gavin is the current Ambassador to Botswana, a position she has held since June 2011. She has served at the Council on Foreign Relations, as a foreign policy advisor on Captial Hill, to Senators Ken Salazar and Russ Feingold. She holds a BA from Georgetown University and MPhil from Oxford University.


Ambassador Dawn M. Liberi

Dawn M. Liberi is the current Ambassador to Burundi. She is a career foreign service member. She has served numerous posts within the United States Agency for International Development, including mission director in Nigeria, and mission director in Uganda, among other positions throughout Africa. From 2009 to 2011 she was the Coordinator of the Interagency Provincial Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, for which she received the U.S. Army Superior Civilian Service Award, the Medaille D’Or from the French Government, and the Army Iron Cross from the Polish Government.


Ambassador Adrienne S. O’Neal

Adrienne S. O’Neal serves as the ambassador to Cape Verde. As a career member, she has served in Italy, Argentina, Mozambique, Brazil, and Portugal.


Ambassador Anne Slaughter Andrew

Anne Slaughter Andrew is the ambassador to Costa Rica. She has served in this post since 2009. After earning her Juris Doctorate in 1983 until 2000 she served as co-chair of the Environment/Energy Team at the law firm Baker & Daniels. She was also partner Patton Boggs from 2001 to 2003. She has been very active in conservation and environmental protection throughout her career and is the first female ambassador to Costa Rica.


Ambassador Judith Fergin

Judith Fergin serves as the Ambassador to East Timor. She is a career foreign service officer who has previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Singapore and Consul General in Sydney, Australia. She has also served in Indonesia, Liberia, Russia, South Africa, and Germany.


Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte

Mari Carmen Aponte is the ambassador to El Salvador. She was sworn into this position in 2010. She was born in Puerto Rico and trained as a lawyer prior to her appointment. From 2001 to 2004 she served as the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. From 2004 until her appointment in 2010, she served as a member of the District of Columbia Judicial Nominations Commissions.


Ambassador Pamela A. White

Pamela A. White is the ambassador to Haiti, and was officially sworn in on July 18, 2012. Ambassador White has served as the ambassador to The Gambia from 2010 to 2012. Prior to this she served as Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development in Liberia. She has served in Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Mali, and South Africa. In 2012 she received the Meal of Honor from The Gambia, one of the only foreigners to ever receive this award.


Ambassador Lisa J. Kubiske

Lisa J. Kubiske is the current ambassador to Honduras. She has served in China, South America, and Washington, DC. Ambassador Kubiske is a career foreign service officer who has served as the director of the Office of Regional Economic Policy and Summit Coordination in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Mission in Brazil.


Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater

Pamela Bridgewater is the ambassador to Jamaica. She has the distinction of being the longest serving U.S. diplomat in South Africa during the end of the apartheid regime. She has emphasized mentorship and diversity during her service. She has received many medals for her work, from Benin and Ghana, for strengthening U.S. relations with those countries and contributions to their development. She has served in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and Washington, DC.


Ambassador Karen Brevard Stewart

Karen Brevard Stewart is the current ambassador to Laos. Ambassador Brevard-Stewart joined the foreign service in 1977. She has served throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Laos, and Pakistan. She has also served in Belarus. Ambassador Brevard Stewart has received the Department of Sate Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards. She was also presented the first Diplomacy for Freedom Award for her embassy’s work in Belarus in support of democracy and human rights.


Ambassador Maura Connelly

Maura Connelly is the ambassador to Lebanon. As a 25-year veteran of the foreign service, Ambassador Connelly has served in the Bureau of Near Easter Affairs, Charge d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria, and the Deputy Principal officer at the U.S. consulate General in Jerusalem. She has also served as the deputy counselor for Political Affairs for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.


Ambassador Deborah R. Malac

Deborah R. Malac the ambassador to Liberia. Ambassador Malac is a career foreign service officer. She joined in 1981 and has served throughout Africa, including Ethiopia, Senegal, and South Africa. She has also served as Director of the Office of East Africa Affairs, Deputy Director in the Office of Agricultural Biotechnology and Textiles Trade Affairs, and Officer-in-Charge of the Food and Agricultural Organization at the World Food Program.


Ambassador Anne E. Derse

Anne E. Derse was the ambassador to Lithuania. She is a career foreign service officer, who joined after receiving her Master of Arts in International Relations in 1981. Her first assignment was in Trinidad and Tobago from 1981 to 1983. She then seared as Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the European Union, and assisted in establishing the embassy in Baghdad in 2004. She also served in Azerbaijan prior to her nomination and subsequent swearing in as Ambassador to Lithuania.


Ambassador Jeanine Jackson

Jeanine Jackson is the current ambassador to Malwai. Previously, she has served in Iraq and received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Honor Award for leading the military to civilian transition effort. She is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Reserve. Ambassador Jackson has played key roles in countries in transition through adapting, rebuilding, and reopening different U.S. Embassies, including in former USSR countries, Kenya, Afghanistan, and Baghdad. In Burkina Faso, she assisted in accelerating the fight against al Qaeda, while strengthening ties between it and the U.S.


Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley

Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley is the ambassador Malta. Upon her nomination in 2011, she became the first foreign service officer assigned to Malta since 1985. She is a career diplomat who joined the service in 1985. She has served in Iraq, Indonesia, Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. . Ambassador Abercrombie-Winstanley has also served as Director for Near East South Asian Affairs, Senior Advisor for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Department of Defense and as Chairwoman for Middle East Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Ambassador Jo Ellen Powell

Jo Ellen Powell is the first female ambassador to Mauritania. She is a career foreign service officer. Prior to her nomination for ambassador to Maurituania, she served as Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany. IN this role she actively engaged the Muslim population through the Windows on America program. Ambassador Powell has also served as the Executive Director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Director of the Office of Employee Relations, and management Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Australia. She has served in France, Italy, Lebanon, and Jordan as well.


Ambassador Rose Likins

Rose Likins is the ambassador to Peru. She is a career foreign service officer who joined in 1981 after graduating from Mary Washington College. She has served throughout Latin and South America including Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, and El Salvador. Ambassador Likins was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political Military Affairs at the State Department from2003 to 2006. In 2006 she became the Deputy Director of the Foreign Service Institute and Dean of the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Professional and Area studies. She served in these roles until 2010 when President Obama nominated her for ambassador to Peru.


Ambassador Susan Page

Susan Page was the first ever ambassador to South Sudan. She has received a commendation for outstanding service to the Sudan Peace Process. She headed the Justice and Human Rights Unit of the UN Development Program in Rwanda, where she served as a political officer. She has lived in Sub-Saharan Africa for the past 15 years in a variety of posts.


Ambassador Cynthia Akuetteh
Cynthia Akuetteh, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career Minister, was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Gabon and the Democratic of Sao Tome and Principe on August 13, 2014.

Ambassador Akuetteh previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs from 2012-2013, and Director of the Office of Europe, Middle East and Africa in the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources, which was established to lead the State Department in the whole of government effort to promote international energy security.

Ambassador Liliana Ayalde

On August 1, 2013 the U.S. Senate confirmed Liliana Ayalde's nomination to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Ambassador Ayalde comes to Brazil with 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service. She most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for the Western Hemisphere with the responsibility for overseeing U.S. bilateral relations with Central America, the Caribbean, and Cuba. Immediately prior to the DAS assignment she was the Senior Assistant Administrator for the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) coordinating important development assistance programs in Haiti, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Between 2008 and 2011 she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Paraguay.


Ambassador Erica Barks-Ruggles

Ms. Barks-Ruggles is the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda. She previously served for three years as U.S. Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa. From January 2009-July 2011, Ms. Barks-Ruggles served as the Deputy to the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, leading the Washington office for Ambassador Susan Rice and serving on the Deputies Committee. She is a career Foreign Service Officer and has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and has been posted to India, Norway, and South Africa. From 1996-1999 she was a Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House, where she led the successful effort to pass the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution and an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations studying the economic impacts of HIV/AIDS on businesses in Southern Africa at the height of the AIDS crisis.


Ambassador Leslie A. Bassett

Leslie A. Bassett arrived in Asuncion to assume her duties as Ambassador of the United States to Paraguay on January 6, 2015. Previously she served as the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. She is a career member of the State Department’s Senior Foreign Service.

Ms. Bassett has also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassies in Manila, Philippines; in Mexico City, Mexico; and in Gaborone, Botswana. Ms. Bassett’s career also includes service in Colombia, Israel, South Africa, El Salvador and Nicaragua.


Ambassador Colleen Bradley Bell

Ambassador Colleen Bell was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States’ Ambassador to Hungary and was confirmed by the United States Senate in December 2014. Ambassador Bell presented her credentials to President of Hungary JŠnos Ńder on January 21, 2015.

Prior to her diplomatic service abroad, Ambassador Bell was a leading business executive at an award-winning production company responsible for some of the most-watched television programming in the world, reaching more than 40 million people in more than 100 countries across five continents. While a producer at Bell-Phillip Television Productions in Los Angeles, Ambassador Bell’s work frequently earned the field’s most prestigious recognition for creative content, social awareness, and public-health education. Ambassador Bell’s artistic vision has been recognized for its pioneering impact on the lives of a wide array of marginalized populations in the United States and abroad.


Ambassador Marcia Bernicat

Ambassador Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, was nominated in 2014 by President Obama to be the Ambassador to Bangladesh. She assumed her position in January 2015.

The Ambassador previously served in a number of senior leadership positions, most recently as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State, a position she held since 2012. She was previously Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2008 to 2011. 


Ambassador Piper Campbell

Piper Anne Wind Campbell, a senior career Foreign Service Officer, was sworn in as Ambassador to Mongolia on August 6, 2012, following her nomination by President Obama and Senate confirmation.

From June 2011-June 2012, Ms. Campbell served as the senior civilian representative of the U.S. government in southern Iraq, opening Consulate General Basrah on July 5, 2011. Prior to her assignment to Basrah, Ms. Campbell worked as Chief of Staff to the first-ever Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (current White House Chief of Staff Jacob J. Lew), as well as to the current Deputy Secretary, Thomas R. Nides.


Ambassador Judith Beth Cefkin

Ms. Cefkin is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister -Counselor.  On November 19, 2014 the U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu.  Prior to this Ms. Cefkin served as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Burma.  Other recent assignments included Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand (2010-2013), and DCM at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006-2009).


Ambassador Maureen Cormack

Ambassador Maureen Cormack officially became the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina on 16 January 2015. Prior to arriving in Sarajevo, Ambassador Maureen Cormack served in Washington D.C. as the Executive Assistant in the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, Principal Deputy Coordinator for the Bureau of International Information Programs, and Executive Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Previously, she held the position of Director of the Office of Western European Affairs, the Deputy Director for Korean Affairs, and worked as a Pearson Fellow on the Homeland Security Committee of the House of Representatives.

Overseas, she has served as Press Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, as Deputy Cultural Attachť at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, and as Consul at the American Presence Post (APP) in western France, covering the regions of Brittany, Normandy, and the Loire.


Ambassador Nina Hachigian 

Ambassador Hachigian was sworn in as the second resident U.S. ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on September 19, 2014.

Ambassador Nina Hachigian was previously a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. She was the editor of Debating China: The U.S. – China Relationship in Ten Conversations (Oxford University Press, 2014) and co-author ofThe Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise (Simon & Schuster, 2008), as well as many reports on Asia policy.


Ambassador Jane Hartley 

Ambassador Jane Hartley was nominated by President Barack Obama on June 6, 2014 to serve concurrently as the U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco and was confirmed to both posts by the U.S. Senate on September 16, 2014. She took her oath of office on October 15, 2014 from Vice President Joseph Biden.

Ambassador Hartley is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Observatory Group, a macro economic and political advisory firm in New York City. She served as Chief Executive Officer of the G7 Group, a research firm providing macroeconomic and political analysis to global investors about the G7 countries and China, from 1994 to 2007.


Ambassador Patricia M. Haslach 

Ambassador Haslach previously served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s newest bureau, the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Prior to this, Ambassador Haslach was the State Department’s Coordinator for Iraq Transition in the Office of the Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources. In this position, she was responsible for coordinating all Washington-based State Department aspects of the U.S. transition from military to civilian operations culminating with the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops at the end of December 2011.


Ambassador Greta C. Holtz

Greta C. Holtz, a career Senior Foreign Service Officer, is the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Sultanate of Oman. Prior to this assignment, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Ms. Holtz served as Minister-Counselor for Provincial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (May 2009-May 2010), and ran the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Teams.


Ambassador Amy J. Hyatt

Amy J. Hyatt arrived at Embassy Koror in March 2015 to assume the position of Ambassador. She is a career Foreign Service Officer with the personal rank of Minister Counselor.

Ms. Hyatt has worked for the U.S. Department of State for over 29 years, serving in Washington, DC and at seven embassies overseas. Most recently Ms. Hyatt was the Management Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.  Before that she was the Diplomat in Residence at Arizona State University.


Ambassador Makila James

Makila James was nominated for the appointment of United States Ambassador to Swaziland by President Obama. She was confirmed by the Senate on July 31, 2011 and sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Swaziland on August 27, 2012.  Ambassador James presented her credentials at post on September 20, 2012.

Prior to her nomination, Makila James, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served as the Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs at the Department of State. From 2007 to 2009, she was the Deputy Director of the Office of Southern African Affairs. From 2006 to 2007, she was the principal officer of the consulate general in Juba. Previously, Ms. James was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff from 2003 to 2006.


Ambassador Deborah K. Jones

Ambassador Deborah K. Jones, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of MinisterCounselor, was nominated by President Obama to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya in March 2013. She was confirmed by the Senate in May 2013. Ambassador Jones served as Scholar-in-Residence at the Middle East Institute from August 2012 to March 2013. Prior to that she was detailed as Senior Faculty Advisor for National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Ms Jones served as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait from 2008 to 2011 and as Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey from 2005 to 2007. Additional overseas assignments include posts in Argentina, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Ethiopia (with regional responsibility for Eritrea, Djibouti and the Sudan), and the United Arab Emirates. Additional Washington assignments with the State Department include the Secretariat's Seventh Floor Operations Center, as Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Near East and South Asian Affairs, Acting Public Affairs Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs, Jordan Desk Officer, Director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs and Iran, and the Board of Examiners.


Ambassador Tina S.  Kaidanow

Ambassador Tina Kaidanow assumed her current position as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the State Department on February 18, 2014. Previously, she served as Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul from September 2012 to October 2013. Ambassador Kaidanow became the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in July 2011, having served earlier as the bureau’s Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for issues related to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and the Caucasus (August 2009 - June 2011).


Ambassador Caroline B. Kennedy

Caroline B. Kennedy was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Japan on November 12, 2013.

Ms. Kennedy is a lawyer, author, education advocate, and lifelong supporter of the arts. Ms. Kennedy has served as the Vice Chair, Board of Directors and Honorary Director for the Fund for Public Schools in New York City since 2002. From 2002 to 2004, she served as the Chief Executive of the Office of Strategic Partnerships for the New York City Department of Education. Ms. Kennedy is on the Board of Directors for New Visions for Public Schools, the New Visions Charter School for Advanced Math and Science, and the New Visions Charter School for the Humanities.


Ambassador Betty E. King

Ambassador Betty King was nominated on October 22, 2009, by President Obama to serve as the Representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and attested by the President on February 12, 2010.

Ambassador King served as the United States Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In that capacity, she worked on human rights, development, children, aging, and population issues. She was the principal U.S. negotiator on the Millennium Development Goals.


Ambassador Helen La Lime

Ambassador Helen Meagher La Lime was confirmed by the Senate as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Angola in May 2014. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, Ambassador La Lime has a wide range of policy, leadership, and management experience developed through service in Africa, the United States, and Europe.

Prior to Angola, she served as the Director of J9 (Outreach), U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where she worked on aspects of our military cooperation programs in Africa. She was Deputy Chief of Mission and Charg√© d’ Affaires in South Africa, one of the Africa Bureau’s largest missions, from 2009 to 2011, contributing to a significant partnership effort with the South African Government. She also served as Consul General in Cape Town (2006-2008), U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique (2003-2006), Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Rabat (2001-2003), and Director of the Office of Central African Affairs (2000-2001). 


Ambassador Suzan LeVine

Suzan ‚€œSuzi‚€� LeVine was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein on May 30, 2014. She took up her position in Bern on June 2, 2014.

Prior to joining the U.S. Government, Suzi focused on education in both her professional and volunteer life. From 2006-2013, she served as the co-founder and then chairperson of the advisory board for the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington ‚€“ one of the world’s leading early learning research institutes. From 2009-2012, Suzi worked at Microsoft Corporation as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Student Developers and Director of Communications for Education. In these roles, she worked with innovative students, school leaders and educators from around the world, helped promote the importance of teaching 21st century skills, and managed relationships with other organizations dedicated to student inspiration and success.


Ambassador Barbara A. Leaf

Barbara A. Leaf was confirmed as the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates on November 17, 2014. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Arabian Peninsula in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2013-2014, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq from 2011-2013. Ambassador-Designate Leaf directed the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in the strategic province of Basrah, Iraq from 2010-2011, leaving an assignment as Political Minister Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy, to oversee the PRT's transition to a U.S. Consulate General. Prior to Rome, Ambassador-Designate Leaf served as the first Director of the Department of State's Office of Iranian Affairs.


Ambassador Deborah A. McCarthy

Deborah A. McCarthy, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is the current U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania. She was sworn into that office on February 5, 2013. Prior to holding this position, Ms. McCarthy was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, responsible for global economic engagement and negotiations (2010-2013).

From 2008 to 2010, Deborah McCarthy served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, and from 2006 to 2008, Special Coordinator for Venezuelan Affairs. Previous appointments have been as Senior Advisor for Counter Terrorism from 2004 to 2006, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement from 2002 to 2004.


Ambassador Virginia Palmer 

Virginia Palmer is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. She arrived in Lilongwe on January 27, 2015 to assume her responsibilities as the U.S. Ambassador to Malawi. Prior to serving in Malawi, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Pretoria from 2011 to 2014, including extended service as Charg√© d’ Affaires. She served in similar capacities at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

She served in the Department of State as the Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism from 2005 to 2008 and Director of the East Asia Bureau’s Office of Economic Policy from 2004 to 2005. She was Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Her other postings include Beijing, Hong Kong, Harare, Calgary, the Office of Maghreb Affairs, and the Operations Center.


Ambassador Mary Catherine Phee

Ambassador Mary Catherine (Molly) Phee was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan on July 15, 2015. Ambassador Phee is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. She most recently served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Ambassador Phee completed a three-year assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2014.


Ambassador Joan A. Polaschik

Joan A. Polaschik, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, currently serves as Director of the Office of Egypt and Levant Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, a position she has held since 2013. With a strong background in the region, including assignments in Tunisia, Jordan and most recently, Libya, Ms. Polaschik stands out for her focused calm and ability to remain cool in a crisis. She has shown outstanding leadership and has been cited for her mentorship and interpersonal skills. She also has significant U.S. interagency experience with a focus on regional security and counterterrorism, experience that will prove valuable in Algeria, the largest country in Africa and second most populous Arab country.


Ambassador Phyllis M. Powers

Phyllis M. Powers is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Minister-Counselor. Ms. Powers is U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua. Her previous assignment was as Ambassador to the Republic of Panama.

Prior to Panama, Ms. Powers was Director of the Office of Provincial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. From 2005 until June 2007, she was Deputy Chief of Mission of the U. S. Embassy in Lima, Peru and before that she was posted in Colombia as the Director of the Narcotics Affairs Section responsible for the Counter-Narcotics program known as Plan Colombia. She also served as the Management Counselor for the Embassy in Colombia. In Washington, D.C., Ms. Powers served as Senior Post Management Officer for the Bureau of Near East Asia and South Asia, with oversight responsibility for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Persian Gulf countries and as Deputy Director of the Office of Travel Support in the Bureau of Administration. Ms. Powers' career also includes tours in Jordan, Russia, and Poland.


Ambassador Doria Rosen

Dorothea-Maria (Doria) Rosen, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia on August 9, 2012, becoming the eighth person to hold that post. 

Most recently, she served as the Diplomat-in-Residence for the Midwest region, based out of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to this position, she was the Deputy Principal Officer in Frankfurt, Germany. From 2004 to 2008, Ms. Rosen served as the Consul General in Bern, Switzerland. From 2001 to 2004, she was Deputy Chief of Mission in Reykjavik, Iceland.


Ambassador Cathy M. Russell

Cathy Russell currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. Prior to assuming this position in August 2013, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden focusing on military families and higher education. During her tenure at the White House, Ambassador Russell coordinated the development of the Administration’s strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally. She previously served as a Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on international women’s issues. During the Clinton Administration, Russell served as Associate Deputy Attorney General. She has also served as Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senior Counsel to Senator Patrick J. Leahy. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Boston College and a J.D. from George Washington University.


Ambassador Dana Shell Smith

Dana Shell Smith was confirmed by the Senate as the U.S. Ambassador to Qatar on July 10, 2014. Previously, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs from 2011 to 2014 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Media.

Prior to her assignments in the Bureau of Public Affairs, Ambassador Smith was the Department's Regional Arabic Language Spokesperson in Dubai. She served in a number of positions including as Senior Advisor to the Director General and overseas tours of duty in Taipei, Amman, Tel Aviv/Gaza, and Cairo.


Ambassador Pamela Spratlen 

The U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Pamela L. Spratlen, was nominated by President Barack Obama on July 28 2014, and confirmed by the Senate on November 20, 2014. She was sworn in as United States Ambassador to Uzbekistan on December 18, 2014.

A career member of the Foreign Service, Ambassador Spratlen has over 20 years of policy and leadership accomplishment across a wide variety of assignments, including her most recent position as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic.


Ambassador Karen Stanton

Ambassador of the United States to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste Karen Stanton. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Ambassador Stanton served most recently as the Executive Director of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Ms. Stanton joined the Foreign Service in 1980. She served overseas most recently as the Management Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.


Margaret Ann Uyehara

Margaret Ann Uyehara was confirmed by the Senate to be the U.S. Ambassador to Montenegro in December 2014. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, Ms. Uyehara has three decades of experience managing Department of State staff and resources.


Ambassador Shari Villarosa

Ambassador Shari Villarosa was confirmed as Ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles in September 2012. She previously served as Deputy Coordinator for Regional Affairs for the Bureau of Counterterrorism of the Department of State. She also served as Chief of Mission in Rangoon, Burma. Prior to that assignment she served as Director of Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore Affairs in the Department of State’s East Asia and Pacific Bureau; and economic counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Ambassador Alice G. Wells

Alice G. Wells, a career Foreign Service Officer, was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on July 28, 2014. She previously served as a senior adviser in the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau in the Department of State, as Special Assistant to the President for Russia and Central Asia in the White House (2012-2013); Executive Assistant to Secretary of State Clinton (2011-2012); and Executive Assistant to Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns (2009-2011).