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Diplomacy in Action

Women's History Month: M. Monica O'Keefe


Office of Civil Rights
Washington, DC
March 2009


M. Monica O’Keefe is a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Officer Counselor. She entered the Foreign Service in 1985 and was assigned to Manila as Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer. Her next assignment was in Belgrade as Assistant Information Officer (1989-1992), during the break up of Yugoslavia and subsequent conflict. From 1992 to 1995, immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, she served as a Desk Officer in the U.S. Information Agency’s Office of Eastern European and Newly Independent States Affairs, and from 1996 to 1998 as Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in Moscow. During the consolidation of USIA into the Department of State, she served in the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources, troubleshooting and helping to manage consolidation issues.


After a year’s leave of absence to accompany her Foreign Service Officer spouse, John O’Keefe, on his assignment as U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, she served as Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs in Kazakhstan. Back in Washington, Ms. O’Keefe helped coordinate democratization and economic development programs in Eastern Europe and the Balkans as Deputy Director for Assistance in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Returning to public diplomacy as Deputy Director of Public Diplomacy for the Bureau of European and Eurasia Affairs, she later assumed the position of Director, overseeing public diplomacy operations in over 40 European countries.


Ms. O’Keefe is now serving on the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service, helping to shape the next generation of Foreign Service Officers.

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