Gabriel Escobar is the Deputy Assistant Secretary overseeing policy towards the countries of the Western Balkans and the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy. Previously, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Belgrade. His leadership positions in the Department of State include Economic Minister Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Coordinator for Cuban Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2017-2018, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia 2014-2017, Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar, Pakistan 2013-2014, and Team Leader of the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kirkuk, Iraq 2009-2010. From 1998-2001, Gabriel completed four consecutive tours in the former Yugoslavia, including serving as the Chief of Staff for the Office of the High Representative in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Head of the Embassy Branch Office in Banja Luka, the Deputy Head of the U.S. Diplomatic Liaison Team in Podgorica, and Political Unit Chief in Belgrade shortly after the U.S. Embassy reopened in 2001. In the Bureau of European Affairs, Gabriel has served as the Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Deputy Political Counselor in Rome, and Political-Military Officer in Prague, and Vice-Consul in Moscow. A career diplomat, he has been awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award six times and the Meritorious Honor Award once. He has also been awarded the Department of State’s Expeditionary Service Award and the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award. Gabriel is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas. He speaks Spanish, Russian, Italian, Serbian, Croatian, Czech, and Portuguese.