OUTGOING U.S. AMBASSADOR CONGRATULATES HER SUCCESSOR JUDITH CEFKIN

Photo: Judith Cefkin.

Ambassador Frankie Reed extends her warm congratulations to Judith Cefkin who was confirmed by the Senate as the next U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu. Judith Cefkin will arrive to Fiji in early 2015 to present her credentials and to meet the wonderful people of the Pacific.

Judith Beth Cefkin, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, was previously the Senior Advisor for Burma, in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at the U.S. Department of State, a position she has held since 2013. Ms. Cefkin has served as a Deputy Chief of Mission twice, including in Bangkok from 2010 to 2013 which is one of the largest U.S. missions in the world. Throughout her career, she has continually demonstrated outstanding leadership and managerial skills, successfully promoting interagency collaboration, advancing U.S. policy interests and directing efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disasters, coups, political violence and terrorist attacks on mission activities and staff.

Prior to Bangkok, Ms. Cefkin served as an Assessor on the Department?s Board of Examiners (2009 to 2010). She was Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006 to 2009). She served as Director of the Office of Nordic-Baltic Affairs (2003-2005), and as Deputy Director of the Office of Western European Affairs (2001-2003). Ms. Cefkin was Deputy Political Counselor and then Political Counselor at Embassy Manila, Philippines (1998 -2001). She served as Political Officer in the Office of European Union Affairs in the Department (1996-1998), and as Political Officer at U.S. Embassy Paris, France (1993-1996). She was Ambassador?s Aide and Political Officer at U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand (1991-1993). Other assignments with the Department of State included serving as Regional-Affairs Officer in the Department?s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, as desk officer for Rwanda, Burundi and the Central African Republic, and as Vice Consul in Embassy Mexico City, Mexico.

Ms. Cefkin earned a B.A. from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom. She has received numerous performance awards from the Department of State. She speaks French and Thai, and has studied Bosnian and Spanish.