Mark Stroh, a career foreign service officer, is the acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Managing Director for International Media in the Bureau of Public Affairs. Prior to that, he was the Team Leader of the Syria Transition Assistance Response Team (START) Forward in northeastern Syria from 2017-2018. There, he led an interagency team of civilians embedded with U.S. Special Operations Forces managing the provision of humanitarian assistance and the restoration of essential services in areas of Syria liberated from ISIS, for which he was awarded the 2018 Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy. His overseas postings include Kuwait City, Kuwait; Basra and Al-Hillah, Iraq; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kabul, Afghanistan; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In Washington, he has served on the Executive Secretariat Secretariat Staff, as a Director for Strategic Communications and Assistant Press Secretary on the National Security Council staff and later Deputy Spokesman of the National Security Council, and as acting director of the Press Office in the Bureau of Public Affairs. Mr. Stroh has received a Superior Honor Award and several Meritorious Honor Awards, and in September 2012 was the runner-up for the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, the State Department’s highest award for public diplomacy work, for his efforts and accomplishments as the Embassy Islamabad Press Officer.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Stroh was a journalist working for several daily and weekly publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was a daily beat reporter from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Stroh has a BA in History and Political Science from Randolph-Macon College, where he graduated Magna cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1994. He has an MS in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.