Ambassador Erica Barks-Ruggles was appointed on January 20, 2021 as Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO). Prior to joining IO, Ambassador Barks-Ruggles was a Senior Diplomatic Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and was the Acting Chancellor of the College of International Strategic Affairs (CISA) at the National Defense University (NDU). From January 2015- March 2018, she served as the Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Rwanda.
She previously was the U.S. Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa. From January 2009-July 2011, Ms. Barks-Ruggles served as the Deputy to the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, leading the Washington office and serving on the Deputies Committee. She is a career Foreign Service Officer, serving since 1991. From 2004-2008 she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor overseeing international human rights, and democracy programming in the Middle East and South and Central Asia.
From 1996-1999 she was a Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House, where she led the successful effort to pass the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. She has also been posted to India and Norway and served on the staffs of three Secretaries of State. She has been a Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution and an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She speaks and reads French and Norwegian.