Ambassador to Tajikistan: Who Is Susan Elliott?
Saturday, April 28, 2012
One of the most oppressive post-Soviet dictatorships, the central Asian nation of Tajikistan has won the friendship of the U.S. government through its cooperation with Washington’s wars in the region. President Barack Obama on April 16 nominated career diplomat Susan Marsh Elliott to be the next ambassador in Dushanbe. If confirmed by the Senate, Elliott will be the second female U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan after her predecessor’s predecessor, Tracey Ann Jacobson, who is currently Ambassador to Kosovo.
Born circa 1952, Elliott earned a B.S. at Skidmore College in Sarasota Springs, New York, in 1974, an M.S. at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, and a doctorate in Nursing at Indiana University in 1987, with a thesis entitled “Variables associated with organizational effectiveness of schools of nursing.” She taught Nursing at Ball State University and the University of Virginia.
Elliott joined the Foreign Service in 1990 after working as a nurse at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Her early career postings included service in Lima, Peru, from 1990 to 1992, and Moscow, Russia, from 1992 to 1994. She served as a desk officer from 1994 to 1995 in the Office of the Coordinator for Regional Conflicts in the New Independent States, where she reported on conflicts in the Caucasus (Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia) and Central Asia, including Tajikistan. Elliott also worked as a member of the Executive Secretariat Staff from 1995 to 1997. Elliott then served four years at the embassy in Athens, Greece, as deputy economic counselor from 1999 to 2001 and as visa section chief from 2001 to 2003.
From 2003 to 2005, Elliott served as office director of the Executive Secretariat Staff, and from 2005 to 2007 as a deputy executive secretary on the staff of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, where her responsibilities included Europe, and South and Central Asia. Elliott was the principal officer at the U.S. consulate general in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 2007 to 2009, and served in Moscow as minister counselor for Political Affairs from 2009 to 2010. Since September 2010, Elliot has been deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
Elliott speaks Russian, Greek, and Spanish. She is married to Matthias Mitman, who is also a Foreign Service officer. They have two adult sons.
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