A member of the Senior Foreign Service, Tom Yazdgerdi entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1991 and is currently Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the Department of State. Before that, he served as Director of the Office of South Central European Affairs (2014-2016). He was also Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul (2013-2014), head of the U.S. Consulate in Kirkuk, Iraq (2011-2012) and Deputy Political Counselor for Iran Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2010-2011). Tom also served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Political-Economic Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo (2006-2009) in the run-up to and aftermath of Kosovo independence. His other assignments include Panama, Bratislava, Tirana, and Athens, as well as positions in the European Bureau (Czech Desk) and the Political-Military Affairs (PM) Bureau at the State Department, and as Senior Balkans Program Officer with the National Democratic Institute in Washington.
Tom has a B.A. in History from Cornell University and an M.A. in Central European History, Security Studies and American Diplomatic History from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Tom is the recipient of three Superior Honor Awards, a Meritorious Honor Award, the Sinclair Award for Excellence in Language Study (Greek), four Group Superior Honor Awards, and the Secretary of State’s Award for Volunteerism Abroad.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Tom worked as Legislative Assistant for Foreign Affairs and Defense issues to Congressman William O. Lipinski (D-IL), who represented the southwest Chicago area where Tom was born.
Tom speaks Dari, Farsi, Spanish, and Greek and has competency in Czech and Slovak. His interests include piano, tennis, reading, and hiking.