Susan A. Thornton was appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in July 2014, after serving for three years as Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan. A career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, Ms. Thornton joined the Department of State in 1991, and has spent the last twenty years working on U.S. foreign policy in Eurasia, focused primarily on the countries of the former Soviet Union and East Asia.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Ms. Thornton is responsible for policy related to China, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Prior to arriving in Ashgabat, she served as the Law Enforcement Counselor in Moscow.
Previous foreign service assignments include Deputy Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, Economic Unit Chief in the Office of Korean Affairs, and diplomatic postings in Beijing, Chengdu, Yerevan, and Almaty.
Prior to joining the Department of State, Ms. Thornton worked at the Foreign Policy Institute in Washington, DC, where she researched and wrote about Soviet bureaucratic politics and contemporary Russia. She speaks fluent Russian and Mandarin Chinese.