James A. Walsh is the Acting Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. He also serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. He is responsible for supporting State Department programs and policies to combat illicit drugs and organized crime around the world. INL currently manages a portfolio of more than $4 billion in more than 90 countries.
Mr. Walsh has served in various senior leadership roles in the INL Front Office since January 2015. In that time, he directed State Department law enforcement and rule of law assistance activities in Europe and Asia (excluding Pakistan and Afghanistan) while overseeing the Department’s Air Wing and INL’s resources. He was also the Senior Bureau Official from December 2017 to May 2018 and Acting Principal Deputy Secretary from May to August 2018.
Mr. Walsh previously served as the Executive Director/Controller for the bureau where he led several efforts to strengthen criminal justice assistance programs including the development of an inter-agency Criminal Justice Sector Rating Tool. Prior to joining the Department, Mr. Walsh worked in the private sector for five years supporting Fortune 500 companies. He also served nearly eight years in the U.S. Army where he had several overseas deployments leading aviation units.
A career member of the Senior Executive Service, Mr. Walsh holds a bachelor’s degree from West Point, and a master’s degree in business administration from Bowie State University. He was born and raised in Northern Indiana. Mr. Walsh received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 2017.