Mary Kirtley Waters

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Legislative Affairs
Term of Appointment: 12/20/2017 to present

Mary Waters was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 12, 2017, and sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs December 20, 2017.

Ms. Waters has deep public policy experience in Washington, D.C. as a lawyer working in the congressional, regulatory, political, corporate and trade association arenas. Prior to assuming office, Ms. Waters served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs where she led efforts to confirm State Department nominees. She also served as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 2001 to 2005.

Ms. Waters’ private sector experience includes serving as the President of the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) and Vice President for Corporate Relations with the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (“Farmer Mac”). Ms. Waters spent 15 years as Senior Director and Legislative Counsel in the Washington office of ConAgra Foods.

A native of Illinois, Ms. Waters came to Washington to work for Congressman Edward R. Madigan (R-IL) and spent four years as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Larry Hopkins (R-KY). Ms. Waters received her Juris Doctor degree from the George Mason University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and communications from the University of Illinois. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.