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Emily Mendrala

Currently serves as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs covering Cuba and regional migration.

Emily was the Executive Director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, promoting U.S. policies of engagement toward the Americas, from 2017-2021. At the Center for Democracy in the Americas, Emily led educational travel delegations for Members of Congress, policy leaders, and other stakeholders to Cuba, Central America, and the U.S.-Mexico border.

Emily’s prior government service includes serving as a Director for Legislative Affairs in the National Security Council and working at the Department of State as a Special Advisor to the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs and, before that, as an advisor on Central America regional affairs.

Before joining the Department, Emily was a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Emily is from Raleigh, North Carolina. She has an M.A. in International Economics with a concentration in Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future