Ambassador Greta C. Holtz assumed her duties as Senior Advisor, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, in May 2019. Prior to this, she was Senior Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to U. S. Special Operations Command. Ambassador Holtz served as the Vice Chancellor and Interim Chancellor of National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs, and was the U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman from September 2012 to December 2015. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister Counselor, Ambassador Holtz also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 2010 to 2012, and as the Minister-Counselor for Provincial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from 2009 to 2010.
Additional overseas assignments include postings in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, and Turkey. At the State Department, Ambassador Holtz was the Director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the State Department’s Coordinator for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and a Senior Watch Officer in the State Department’s Executive Secretariat’s Operations Center.
Ambassador Holtz received a B.S. in political science from Vanderbilt University, a M.A. in International Relations from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, and a M.S. in National Security Studies from the National War College. Ambassador Holtz joined the Foreign Service in 1985 and studied Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute’s Field School in Tunisia, and Turkish at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia.
Ambassador Holtz is the recipient of numerous State Department awards, as well as awards from the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency, and Vanderbilt University’s Phi Alpha Theta Distinguished Alumnus Award.