Ruth Whiteside is a career member of the Senior Executive Service at the Department of State, and served in the Foreign Service from 1978 to 1984.
On February 13, 2006, Ms. Whiteside assumed her duties as Director of the Foreign Service Institute. Prior to this assignment, she served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Director General, Bureau of Human Resources from 2001-2006. From 1997-2001 she was the Deputy Director of the Foreign Service Institute.
Ms. Whiteside's Department assignments include service in Spain, the Policy Planning Staff, the Bureau of European Affairs, the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and Executive Assistant to the Department's Under Secretary of State for Management. Her awards include a Distinguished Presidential Rank Award (2002) and two Meritorious Presidential Rank Awards.
Ms. Whiteside grew up in Texas. She received her B.A. in History from Austin College, an M.A. from the University of Texas in International Relations and a Ph.D from Rice University. Before joining the State Department, Ms. Whiteside was the Assistant Director of the Southwest Center for Urban Research and the Institute for Urban Studies at the University of Houston.