Jed Taro Dornburg is a public diplomacy-coned officer who joined the Foreign Service in 2004. Many have commented that he was probably destined for the Foreign Service, growing up in multiple countries, before finishing high school in Rome, Italy. He was born in Suva, Fiji to an American father and Japanese mother and grew up in seven countries including Australia, England, Italy, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and the United States (NYC) before returning to the U.S. for college.
Currently Jed serves in the Office of Southern African Affairs as the Botswana and Malawi Desk officer. He has served at U.S. Embassy Sana’a as a political-military officer, and U.S. Embassy Maseru as public diplomacy/political/consular officer. Most recently he was Deputy Director of the Regional Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) hosted at U.S. Embassy Tunis, where he was grants officer for the Levant, Egypt, and Maghreb. The Near Eastern Affairs Assistant Secretary commended Jed in 2011 “for sustained outstanding performance in expanding the Middle East Partnership Initiatives local grants program at the exceptional rate and under very difficult circumstances in response to the Arab Awakening.”
Jed comes from a family with a history of public service. His sister works at the Pentagon; his father was in one of the very first Peace Corps classes (he went to Nigeria in the early 60’s); and he has cousins and uncles in every branch of military service. Prior to joining the State Department, Jed worked for the Japanese National Tourism Organization; a general services outsource firm specializing in relocation for executives of Blue Chip companies; an Asian think-tank in DC managing a speaker program; and as a furniture restoration apprentice.
Jed earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Ithaca College, where he was a member of Model United Nations and a master’s degree in international relations and comparative culture from Sophia University, Tokyo. He conducted advanced studies in Advanced Development Management Programs with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sponsored by Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID).
Jed has also studied Italian, French, Arabic, and Japanese.