Appointments

April 2021

Linda Thomas-Greenfield | U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Linda Thomas-Greenfield (SFS) of Louisiana was appointed to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Feb. 24. Previously she served in the private sector as senior vice president at Albright-Stonebridge Group, a global business strategy and commercial diplomacy firm. Thomas-Greenfield has served the United States for 35 years as a career diplomat including as assistant secretary for African affairs, director general of the Foreign Service, director of human resources, and ambassador to Liberia. She has served at posts in Switzerland, Kenya, Nigeria, The Gambia, Pakistan, and Jamaica. Thomas-Greenfield has also served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Before joining the government, she taught political science at Bucknell University. Thomas-Greenfield has a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

March 2021

Julie D. Fisher | U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Belarus
Julie D. Fisher (SFS) of Tennessee was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Belarus, Dec. 22. Fisher previously served as deputy assistant secretary for Western Europe and the European Union in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. She also temporarily served as the chargé d’affaires in Russia. Fisher has served as deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Mission to NATO in Belgium, chief of staff to the deputy secretary for management and resources, director of the Operations Center, deputy director of the Private Office of the Secretary General of NATO, counselor for political and economic affairs in Tbilisi, deputy executive secretary at the National Security Council, and as a desk officer to Georgia, Morocco, and Western Sahara. She held earlier assignments as a political officer in Moscow and as a consular and political officer in Kyiv. Fisher received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.P.P. from Princeton University. She speaks Russian, French, and Georgian.

Brian D. McFeeters | U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia
Brian D. McFeeters (SFS) of Virginia was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, Jan. 5. McFeeters previously served as the deputy chief of mission in Baghdad. He has recently served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Counselor to the Secretary of State, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, and deputy chief of mission in Jakarta. Earlier in his career he served as the economic minister counselor of the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels and Baghdad, political counselor in Kuala Lumpur, deputy political counselor and North Korea Watcher in Seoul, and deputy director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia. McFeeters received a B.A. and a B.S. from the University of Notre Dame, an M.S. from the University of New Mexico, and an M.A. from John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He speaks Malaysian, Indonesian, French, Spanish, and German.

David Reimer | U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone
David Reimer (SFS) of Ohio was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone, Jan. 19. Reimer previously served as the ambassador to Mauritius and Seychelles. Before that, he served as director of the Office of West African Affairs, and he was deputy chief of mission in Nouakchott. Reimer has served as assessor in the Board of Examiners in the former-Bureau of Human Resources (now Bureau of Global Talent Management), senior refugee coordinator in Baghdad, deputy director of the Office of East African Affairs, and refugee and migration officer in Geneva. He has also served as an economic officer in Milan and Bonn, as a financial economist in the Office of Monetary Affairs. He did long-term economic training at the Foreign Service Institute. Before joining the Department, Reimer served for five years as an international affairs specialist at the Department of Agriculture. Reimer earned a B.A. from Goshen College and an M.P.I.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. He speaks French, Italian, and German.

February 2021

C. Kevin Blackstone | U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
C. Kevin Blackstone (SFS) of Virginia was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Jan. 5. Blackstone previously served as the executive director of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He has served as minister-counselor for management in Cairo, management counselor in Bangkok and New Delhi. He was the team leader of the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in Wasit. Earlier in his career, Blackstone served as a refugee admissions program officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and was acting director of the Department of State’s domestic refugee processing center. He has served in other positions in Toronto, Canberra, Libreville, Kampala, Rome, and Lagos. Blackstone earned his B.A. from the University of Virginia and his M.P.A. from Syracuse University. He speaks French and Italian.

Antony John Blinken | U.S. Secretary of State
Antony John Blinken of New York was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Secretary of State, Jan. 26. In 2017, Blinken co-founded WestExec Advisors, a political strategy advising firm. Prior to that, he served as deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 and deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015 during the Obama Administration. He has held numerous senior foreign policy positions during two administrations over two decades. Blinken served as assistant to the president and principal deputy national security advisor, deputy assistant to the president and national security advisor to the vice president, and he served six years on Capitol Hill as a democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was a member of former-president Bill Clinton’s national security council, special assistant to the president and senior director for European Affairs, special assistant to the president and senior director for speechwriting and then-strategic planning, and special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian Affairs. Earlier in his career, Blinken served as a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In the private sector, he has practiced law in New York and Paris, served as a reporter for “The New York Republic” magazine, and has written for numerous publications. Blinken earned his B.A. from Harvard University, and his J.D. from Columbia University. He speaks French. 

Cynthia Kierscht | U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Cynthia Kierscht (SFS) of Minnesota was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Jan. 5. Kierscht previously served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA). She has served as director of the Office of Canadian Affairs, deputy political counselor in Morocco, as a political officer in Cairo and Tripoli, and as a regional affairs officer in the Bureau of Counterterrorism. Among other assignments, Kierscht served as deputy management counselor, cultural affairs officer, and coordinator for the Summit of the Americas in Bogota. She was also a post-management officer for WHA, desk officer for Algeria, line officer on the secretariat staff, and a watch officer in the Operations Center. Kierscht received a B.A. from Carleton College and an M.P.P. from Harvard University. She speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish.

Geeta Pasi | U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Geeta Pasi (SFS) of New York was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Jan. 5. Pasi previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary for African Affairs. She has also served as ambassador to Chad and Djibouti, director of career development and assignments, director of the Office of East African Affairs, deputy chief of mission in Dhaka, and deputy principal officer in Frankfurt. Earlier in her career she served as a desk officer for Afghanistan in the Office of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh Affairs, a political officer in New Delhi and Accra, line officer in the Executive Secretariat office, desk officer for Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, consular and political officer in Bucharest, and political-economic officer in Doula. Pasi received a B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. from New York University. She speaks French, German, Hindi, Romanian, and Russian. 

Jonathan Pratt | U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti
Jonathan Pratt (SFS) of California was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti, Dec. 22. Pratt previously served as the executive assistant to the under secretary for political affairs. He has served as deputy chief of mission in Islamabad and as office director for Pakistan Affairs. Earlier in his career, he served as a political counselor in Islamabad, deputy chief of mission in Brazzaville, chief of the Political and Economic Section in Khartoum, management officer in Luanda, general services officer in Amman, political and consular officer in Kinshasa, and as a presidential management intern in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. Prior to joining the government, Pratt was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea-Bissau and a primary school bilingual teacher for Teach for America in Los Angeles. Pratt has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.A. from the University of California, San Diego. He speaks Chinese, Arabic, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

January 2021

Melanie Harris Higgins | U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi
Melanie Harris Higgins (SFS) of Georgia was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Burundi, Dec. 1. Since 2018, Higgins has served as the director of the Office of Central African Affairs. Prior to that, Higgins served as principal officer in Auckland and deputy chief of mission in Port Moresby. Earlier in her career, she served as the deputy political counselor and unit chief in Jakarta and acting director and acting public affairs advisor for the Office of Public Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. She also held an assignment as the Thailand desk officer. Other postings included being seconded to the Office of the High Representative, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and she held assignments as a watch officer in the Operations Center in Australia and Cameroon. Higgins earned a B.A. from John Hopkins University and an M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. She speaks French, Indonesian, and Bosnian.

Lisa S. Kenna | U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Peru
Lisa S. Kenna (SFS) of Vermont was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Peru, Dec. 1. Kenna previously served as executive secretary of the Department of State and as a senior adviser. Prior to that, she served as the executive assistant to the secretary of state and political adviser to the secretary of defense. She was the director of the Iraq Office on the National Security Council at the White House and deputy director of the Iraq Political Office at the Department. She served as chief of the political section in Amman and earlier served as a political-military officer in Cairo. Earlier in her career, she also held positions in Mbabane and Peshawar, and she served for nine years as a Central Intelligence Agency officer. Prior to joining the government, she was an attorney in private practice. Kenna earned a B.A. from Middlebury College and a J.D. at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She speaks Arabic, Persian, and Urdu.

Sung Y. Kim | U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia
Sung Y. Kim (SFS) of California was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, Aug. 31. Kim has served as ambassador in the Philippines since 2016. Prior to that, he served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. During his three decades with the Department, Kim has served as ambassador to Korea, special representative for North Korea Policy, special envoy for the Six Party Talks, vice consul in Hong Kong, and director of the Office of Korean Affairs. He has also served at positions in Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Washington. Kim earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles, and an M.L. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He speaks Korean and Japanese.

Jeanne Marie Maloney | U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Eswatini
Jeanne Marie Maloney (SFS) of Virginia was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Eswatini, Dec. 1. Previously, Maloney served as the foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Army Africa in Vicenza. At the Department, she has served in numerous leadership positions, including director of the Office of Security Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs, director of the Office of Terrorist Screening and Interdiction in the Bureau of Counterterrorism, director of the Office of Fraud Prevention Programs in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and senior advisor in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. She has also served as deputy political-military counselor in Baghdad, a desk officer for Angola, Portugal, and the Vatican, a career development officer in the Bureau of Human Resources (now Bureau of Global Talent Management), consul in Brazilia, and consular officer in Lisbon and Kuwait. Maloney earned a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.B.A. from the University of Tulsa. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and basic Arabic.

Michael A. McCarthy | U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia
Michael A. McCarthy (SFS) of Virginia was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia, Dec. 1. Previously, he served as consul general in Johannesburg. McCarthy has served as deputy chief of mission in South Sudan and director of the Office of Retirement in the Bureau of Global Talent Management (previously Bureau of Human Resources). His earlier assignments included service as a management officer in Frankfurt, New Delhi, and Asmara. He served as area management officer of the East Africa Division in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings and Operations, and a country desk officer in the Office of West African Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs. McCarthy also served in positions in Montevideo, Colombo, and Bangkok. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he served as vice president of marketing at Compro Systems, Inc. in Baltimore, Md. He was also a technical information specialist in the Executive Office of the President in addition to serving earlier as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo. McCarthy earned a B.S. from Tulane University. He speaks French, Spanish, and Thai.

James Broward Story | U.S. Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
James Broward Story (SFS) of South Carolina was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Dec. 1. Previously, Story served as chargé d’affaires of the Venezuela Affairs Unit in Bogota and chargé d’affaires in Caracas until operations were suspended in March 2019. Story served as consul general in Rio de Janeiro, director of International Narcotics and Law (INL) Enforcement for the Western Hemisphere, director or INL for Colombia, and senior civilian for Task Force Rakkasan in Regional Command-East Afghanistan. Story’s earlier assignments included service as a political/economic chief and deputy principal officer in São Paulo, regional environmental affairs officer for South America in Brasilia, officer in the Marine Conservation Office in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Scientific Affairs, and positions in Maputo, Guadalajara, and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Story earned a B.A./B.S. from South Carolina College at the University of South Carolina and an M.S. from Georgetown University. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

Thomas Laszlo Vajda | U.S. Ambassador to the Union of Burma
Thomas Laszlo Vajda (SFS) of Arizona was appointed to serve as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Union of Burma, Dec. 1. Previously, Vajda served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. He has served as consul general in Mumbai, deputy chief of mission in Burba, deputy coordinator of the Office of Assistance Coordination for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), and director of NEA’s Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative. Earlier in his career, he served as deputy office director of Australian, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, political-military affairs officer in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and as political/economic section chief in Tirana. Vajda was also assigned as a desk officer in the Office of Japanese Affairs and in the Office of Korean Affairs. Vajda received a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. from Tufts University.


Previous Appointments