Afreen Akhter is a Deputy Assistant Sectary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA), overseeing SCA’s Office of Security and Transnational Affairs and SCA’s initiatives supporting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility. Ms. Akhter most recently served as a Senior Adviser to SCA Assistant Secretary Don Lu. Previously, Ms. Akhter was the National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser to U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen. Other assignments include the State Department’s Office of Pakistan Affairs, Political-Military Affairs Bureau, U.S. Embassy Beijing and the National Security Council. She was a Presidential Management Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar to Kingston, Jamaica. Ms. Akhter hails from Oak Brook, IL. She earned her M.A. in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and her B.A. from Brown University.