Nicole Elkon

Nicole Elkon joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) as the Deputy Assistant Secretary (“DAS”) for Private Sector Exchange in September 2021. In February 2023, she became the DAS for Professional and Cultural Exchanges. She is responsible for overseeing a broad array of professional, youth, cultural, and sports exchange programs for U.S. and international participants.

Until July 2021, Ms. Elkon was the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights First (HRF), an independent advocacy organization focused on human rights and the rule of law. Prior to her work at HRF, Ms. Elkon was a Senior Advisor at Results for America, a non-profit organization focused on advancing data-driven, evidence-based public policy. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Public-Private Partnerships at ECA, working to leverage strategic partnerships to enhance Administration foreign policy priorities, from May 2015 until January 2017.

From October 2003 until March 2006, Ms. Elkon was the Director of External Affairs at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT.

From December 2001 through January 2003, Ms. Elkon was the Chief of Staff and Director of Communications of the 9/11 United Services Group (USG). Prior to joining the USG, Ms. Elkon was Vice President, International Communications and Strategic Planning at Merrill Lynch. She also worked in the White House as the Director for Planning for the National Security Council and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Scheduling from 1995 to 1999.

And from 1993 to 1995 Ms. Elkon was the Press Secretary at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Ms. Elkon is a native New Yorker. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future