Stephen J. Akard was confirmed on September 11, 2019, as the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions with the rank of Ambassador.
Immediately prior to this role, Ambassador Akard served as a Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff in the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to joining the Department of State, Ambassador Akard served as the Chief of Staff for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), the State of Indiana’s lead economic development agency. At the IEDC, Ambassador Akard also held the positions of Vice President and General Counsel, and Director of International Development. Along with his various roles at the IEDC, he also served as the senior foreign affairs advisor to Governors Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Eric Holcomb.
Previously, Ambassador Akard served as a career Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, holding positions as a special assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Executive Secretariat; political officer and general services officer at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium; and as a consular officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai.
A native of Indianapolis, Ambassador Akard earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and French from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Thereafter, he earned both a law degree from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and an MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Following law school, he was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable James E. Noland, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. He has practiced law in Indianapolis and been an instructor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.