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Diplomacy in Action

Women's History Month: Joan Ellen Corbett



Office of Civil Rights
Washington, DC
March 2009
2009 Women's History Month: Joan Corbett

Joan Corbett is a retired senior American diplomat, with wide experience in central European, economic, political-military, and international security affairs including NATO. During her career she served in Frankfurt, Vienna, divided Berlin, and Bern and at the NSC, the Pentagon, as DCM in Vienna, and as POLAD at a NATO command. She was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Base Rights Negotiations in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Arms Control. She retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2005 and since then has worked full-time in the State Department as a Senior Advisor. She currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, responsible for specialized negotiations in the Western Hemisphere and Eastern Europe.


Ms. Corbett has received six of the State Department’s Superior Honor Awards, Senior Performance Pay, and the distinguished POLAD award. She also received the Joint Civilian Meritorious Service Medal from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She speaks fluent German and French and is conversant in several other languages.


Ms. Corbett graduated with honors from Smith College, studied at the graduate level in Germany and Italy and received a Master of Arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C



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