Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: Who Is Ann Stock?

Monday, July 19, 2010

More than six months after President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Judith Ann Stock to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), she was finally confirmed on June 17, 2010, and publically sworn in by her old friend, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on July 14. The ECA was established as part of the State Department, under a different name, in 1938.  Its primary goal is to bring together students and professionals from the United States and across the world in hopes of building stronger relationships between the countries.  The bureau funds and sponsors many programs for international education exchanges to promote the objective of cultural learning and mutual understanding. Its best-known program is the Fulbright Scholar Program.  

 
Ann Stock graduated from Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1964 and then earned a B.A. in elementary education at Purdue University, working fulltime at a bookstore to pay for her education. She began her career as an elementary school teacher, but did not find it to her liking. She then worked as a flight attendant for Pan American Airways, but developed a fear of flying after the electrical phenomenon known as St. Elmo’s fire hit a plane she was on.
 
Stock was Deputy Press Secretary to Vice President Walter F. Mondale during the 1980 presidential election campaign. Shortly thereafter, she went to work at Bloomingdale’s Department Stores, where she was Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for ten years. Returning to public service, from January 1993 to September 1997 Stock was Deputy Assistant to President Bill Clinton and the Social Secretary at the White House.  In September 1997 she became Vice President of Institutional Affairs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Stock oversaw the Center’s expanded efforts to increase its national and international profile and managed the Center’s International Arts Management Programs.  She also supervised the Government Relations Office, Press Office and Office of Institutional Affairs. 
 
A Democrat, Stock has contributed $6,300 to Democratic candidates, including $4,300 to Hillary Clinton’s Senatorial and presidential campaigns.  Her husband, Stuart Stock, is a partner in the financial institution division of Covington & Burling, a leading law and lobbying firm. A specialist in bank deals, in 2005, Stuart Stock received $420,000 to lobby on behalf of mortgage giant Freddie Mac. The couple has one son.
 
Stock is known as a devoted practitioner of needlepoint.
-Matt Bewig, David Wallechinsky
 

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