Stephen Akard – Director of the Office of Foreign Missions
Stephen Akard of Indiana is the new Director of the Office of Foreign Missions. Akard previously served as senior advisor and acting chief of staff in the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment. Akard has served as a special assistant to the Secretary, a political officer, a general services officer in Brussels and a consular officer in Mumbai. Prior to joining the Department, Akard served as chief of staff for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. He has a B.A from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, an M.B.A. from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and a J.D. from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law.
John L. Carwile – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia
John L. Carwile (SFS) of Maryland is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia. Carwile previously served as deputy director of the Office of Career Development and Assignments. Prior to this position, he was the director of Mid-Level Career Development and Assignments. Carwile has twice served as deputy chief of mission, first in Brunei and then in Nepal. He was also a minister-counselor for economic affairs in Rome and counselor for economic affairs in Baghdad and Ottawa. In Carwile’s 31 years with the Department, he has also served in Belfast, Quito, Kuala Lumpur and Lima. Carwile has a B.A. from the College of Wooster in Ohio and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University. He speaks Italian and Spanish.
Joseph Cella – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Fiji and to the Republic of Kiribati
Joseph Cella of Michigan is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Fiji and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga and Tuvalu. Cella has served as principal of the Pontifex Group in Michigan since 2010. Cella has worked in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and served as a communications and marketing consultant at Hillsdale College. He has spent more than two decades founding and leading numerous non-profit organizations and serving as a confidential advisor to elected officials, political candidates and business leaders. Cella has a B.A. from Hillsdale College.
Kelly Craft – U.S. Representative to the United Nations, the U.S. Representative in the Security Council of the United Nations and the U.S. Representative to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations
Kelly Craft of Kentucky is the new U.S. Representative to the United Nations, the U.S. Representative in the Security Council of the United Nations and the U.S. Representative to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Craft was previously ambassador to Canada, the first woman to hold the post. Craft has also served as U.S. alternate delegate to the United Nations in 2007, and she headed the Kelly G. Knight LLC, a business advisory firm in Kentucky. Craft has a B.A. from the University of Kentucky.
Robert A. Destro – Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Robert A. Destro of Virginia is the new Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Destro has been on the faculty at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law since 1982 and has served as interim dean from 1999-2001, as well as founding director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies. He served a six-year term as commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Destro has a B.A. from Miami University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Anthony F. Godfrey – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia
Anthony F. Godfrey (SFS) of Virginia is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia. Godfrey was previously the deputy chief of mission in Moscow. He has served as a political minister counselor, director of Iraq Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, director for Turkey and Eurasian Energy at the National Security Council and has served in other leadership positions at posts in Ankara, Yerevan, Zagreb, Chechnya, Turkey, and Japan. Godfrey has a B.A. from the University of California. He speaks Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Turkish.
Kenneth A. Howery – U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden
Kenneth A. Howery of Texas is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Sweden. Howery has served as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur specializing in creating and funding technology companies. He co-founded and served as partner at Founders Fund, co-founded PayPal where he served as chief financial officer and assisted the company in being acquired by eBay. Howery is a founding advisor to Kiva.org, and he has served as director for numerous companies including ZocDoc Inc., Careportal Inc., and the Quantcast Corporation. Howery received his B.A. from Stanford University.
Mary Beth Leonard – U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Mary Beth Leonard (SFS) of Massachusetts is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Previously, she served as representative to the African Union and permanent representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Leonard joined the Department in 1988 and has served as ambassador and deputy chief of mission in Mali and has held other posts in Cameroon, Namibia and Togo. She also worked in the Department’s Operations Center, as director for West African Affairs. She has served as Diplomat in Residence for New England and as the Department’s senior faculty advisor at the U.S. Naval War College. Leonard has a B.A. from Boston University and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University.
Lana J. Marks – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa
Lana J. Marks of Florida is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. As a businesswoman and fashion designer, Marks founded and has been CEO of Lana Marks Ltd. Inc. of Palm Beach since 1987. She has campaigned for women’s welfare around the world, serving on the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board and the Women’s International Forum. She attended the University of the Witwatersrand and the Institute of People Management in Johannesburg, South Africa. Marks speaks Afrikaans and Xhosa.
Erin E. McKee – U.S. Ambassador to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and to the Republic of Vanuatu
Erin E. McKee (SFS) of California is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, U.S. Ambassador to the Solomon Islands and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Vanuatu. Previously McKee served as director of the USAID Mission in Indonesia and was acting deputy chief of mission at Embassy Jakarta. McKee has served both the Department and USAID since 1995 at Missions in Baghdad, Lima, La Paz, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Moscow and Astana. She has a B.A. from the University of California at Davis and an M.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle. She speaks Russian, Spanish and Bahasa Indonesian.
Herro Mustafa – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria
Herro Mustafa (SFS) of California is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria. Mustafa previously served as the deputy chief of mission in Lisbon, where she also served as chargé d’affaires. From 2009-2011, she worked in the Office of the Vice President. She has also served as deputy director for the Afghanistan Office, advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, director for Iran, Israeli-Palestinian Affairs and Jordan at the National Security Council (NSC) and NSC director for Iraq and Afghanistan. She has served at other posts in New Delhi, Mosul, Beirut and Athens. Mustafa has a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University and an M.P.A. from Princeton University. She speaks nine languages including Arabic, Russian, Hindi and Farsi.
John Rakolta Jr. – U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates
John Rakolta Jr. of Michigan is the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Rakolta was previously chairman and CEO of Walbridge, an international construction company with offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America. Rakolta has been a civic leader in Detroit, where he has served on the Coalition for the Future of Detroit, the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, New Detroit Inc., the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Detroit Economic Club. Rakolta has a B.A. from Marquette University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School.