Prior to her appointment as Director of the Foreign Service Institute, Ambassador McEldowney served as the Senior Vice President of the National Defense University (NDU) from August 2011 until February 2013. She served as Interim NDU President upon the retirement of Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau on April 11, 2012, until Major General Gregg Martin assumed his duties as NDU President on July 11, 2012.
In her capacity as the NDU Senior Vice President, Ambassador McEldowney coordinated the University’s international programs and outreach. Prior to this, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, with oversight responsibility for 49 countries in Europe and Eurasia, as well as the NATO alliance, the European Union, and the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Previously, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey and Baku, Azerbaijan. During the Clinton Administration, Ambassador McEldowney served at the White House as Director of European Affairs on the National Security Council staff.
Ambassador McEldowney has also served overseas at the U.S. Embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Bonn, Germany. In addition, she was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks with the Soviet Union in Geneva, Switzerland.
Within the Department of State, Ambassador McEldowney has worked in the Office of Soviet Affairs, the Office of European Security Affairs, and the Office of the Deputy Secretary. She has also served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.
Ambassador McEldowney has been granted the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on five occasions, and is also a recipient of the Sinclair Linguistic Award.
Ambassador McEldowney is a member of the Senior Foreign Service. She completed her undergraduate studies at New College and holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and the National Defense University. Ambassador McEldowney is a native of Florida.