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The State of the State Department & Racial Justice

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Amb. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. State Department’s inaugural Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, joins WorldBoston and Amb.Nicholas Burns, now at the Harvard Kennedy School as founder and Faculty Chair of its Future of Diplomacy Project. Abercrombie-Winstanley was recently named to this historic role by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. During this talk about creating a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion at the national level, she draws upon her years of experience as a diplomat in the Middle East and Africa, as well as positions at the Defense Department and at the National Security Council of the White House.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns is the Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy & International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is the founder and Faculty Chair of the Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair of the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship. As a career Foreign Service Officer, he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008. He was U.S. Ambassador to NATO (2001-2005), Ambassador to Greece (1997-2001) and State Department Spokesman (1995-1997).
**Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley**, a 30- year diplomat, is the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State and was the longest serving U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta. Through a series of senior positions that included advising the Commander of U.S. cyber forces on our foreign policy priorities, expanding our counterterrorism partners and programs as Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism, and Coordinating the largest evacuation of American citizens from a war zone since WW ll, her professional life has played out almost daily in international media. She began her formal work in teaching and leadership development as Chairwoman for Middle East Area studies at the prestigious Foreign Service Institute where U.S. diplomats are trained. Earlier in her career, she served in Baghdad, Jakarta and Cairo before taking on the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for the Middle East and Africa. Her Middle East assignments include election monitoring in the Gaza Strip and, an extraordinary assignment where she actively supported gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first woman to lead a diplomatic mission there. In addition to the State Department, she has held senior positions at the Defense Department and at the National Security Council of the White House. Prior to that, she was a fellow on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the then Ranking Member, Senator Joseph Biden. Ms. Abercrombie-Winstanley is the recipient of the Maltese Order of Merit, Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards, including "For acts of courage during an attack on the U.S. Consulate General, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on December 6, 2004 by al-Qa'ida terrorists."