Heather Higginbottom was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2013. In her current role, she shares in the global responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy and has broad management and programmatic oversight responsibilities for both the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Ms. Higginbottom, the first female to become Deputy Secretary, most recently served as Counselor to the Secretary of State, advising him on policy, personnel, and management issues.
Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Higginbottom served as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she was the Chief Operating Officer of OMB and a principal architect of the federal budget. From January 2009 to January 2011, Ms. Higginbottom served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. In that role, she advised the President on a range of education, immigration, and economic development issues – including helping to design the Race to the Top and Promise Neighborhood programs.
Ms. Higginbottom began working for then-Senator Obama in 2007, when she served as Policy Director for the President’s campaign and supervised all aspects of foreign and domestic policy development.
During the 2004 campaign, she served as the Deputy National Policy Director for the Kerry-Edwards Presidential Campaign. After the election, she founded and served as Executive Director of the American Security Project, a national security think tank.
Ms. Higginbottom began her government service in 1999, when she joined the office of then Senator John Kerry as Legislative Assistant. During her years in Senator Kerry’s staff, she handled a wide array of domestic and foreign policy issues, and eventually served as his Legislative Director, overseeing all policy matters.
Prior to her government service, Ms. Higginbottom served at Communities In Schools, a national non-profit organization dedicated to keeping young people from dropping out of school.
Ms. Higginbottom holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Rochester and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the George Washington University.