November is National American Indian Heritage Month, celebrating the heritage, culture, and contributions of Native Americans. This month, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs will highlight Native Americans serving in our bureau and advancing U.S. foreign policy and national security efforts in the United States and across Europe. This effort is a part of a broader campaign celebrating diversity and inclusion as core American values.
J. Michelle Schohn
J. Michelle Schohn joined the Foreign Service in 2004 as a public diplomacy-coned Foreign Service Officer (FSO) and currently serves as the EUR/IO Senior Advisor for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. She previously served as a Senior Congressional Advisor in the Bureau for Legislative Affairs, as Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and as Public Affairs Officer in Tallinn, Estonia and Pristina, Kosovo. Her other tours include Jerusalem as a consular/political officer, as a Watchstander for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), and as special assistant to the INR and Public Affairs Front Offices. She is a former President of glifaa (LGBT+ in Foreign Affairs Agencies, a Department affinity group), a founding member of the Native American Foreign Affairs Council, and a current board member of Executive Women @ State. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she was a PhD candidate in archaeology at UNC Chapel Hill. She has a B.A. in English/journalism and an M.A. in anthropology/archaeology from the University of South Carolina, and a M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University. She is an enrolled member of the PeeDee Indian Nation of Beaver Creek and speaks Albanian, Estonian and Hebrew as well as some German. She and her wife, also an FSO, share their home with two cats, a Border Collie/Great Dane mix, and an African Grey parrot.
Michelle Yerkin has served as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik since June 2021. After graduating Yale University and the University of Minnesota Law School, she began her diplomatic career, devoting her professional life to public service and serving our nation with distinction. In addition to assignments in Washington, DC, Michelle has served at U.S. diplomatic missions in Kazakhstan, Panama, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador, Russia, and, since last year, here in Iceland. Michelle is a proud descendant of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe (Chippewa) tribe of northern Minnesota.