Donald Lu became Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021. Prior to this assignment, Assistant Secretary Lu served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2018 to 2021 and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Albania from 2015-2018. Before his posting in Albania, Assistant Secretary Lu worked on the Ebola crisis in West Africa as the Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response in the Department of State.
Lu is a Foreign Service Officer with more than 30 years of U.S. government service. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) in India (2010-2013), Chargé d’Affaires (2009-2010) and DCM (2007-2009) in Azerbaijan, and as DCM in Kyrgyzstan (2003-2006). Earlier in his career he was assigned as Deputy Director in the Office of Central Asian and South Caucasus Affairs, Bureau of European Affairs (2001-2003), Special Assistant to the Ambassador for the Newly Independent States in the Office of the Secretary of State (2000-2001), Political Officer in New Delhi, India (1997-2000), Special Assistant to the Ambassador in New Delhi, India (1996-1997), Consular Officer in Tbilisi, Georgia (1994-1996), and Political Officer in Peshawar, Pakistan (1992-1994). As a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa from 1988-1990, he helped to restore hand-dug water wells and to teach health education and latrine construction.
Assistant Secretary Lu is from Huntington Beach, California. He graduated from Princeton University with both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international relations. He speaks Albanian, Russian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Urdu, Hindi, and West African Krio. He enjoys biking, watching movies, traveling, and spending time with his family.