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Name: Holtz, Greta
Current Position: Ambassador

Career diplomat Greta C. Holtz was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 24, 2012 to be the next U.S. ambassador to Oman.


Holtz received a Bachelor of Science in political science from Vanderbilt University (1982) and a Master of Arts in international relations from the University of Kentucky (1984).


Prior to joining the State Department, Holtz worked as an intern in the NATO policy office, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as an analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency.


She entered the Foreign Service in March 1985. Her overseas postings sent her to the U.S. missions in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria and Turkey, where she was the consul in the city of Adana (2002-2003).


While serving as consul in Tunisia in 1991, Holtz became suspicious about the passport of an American who appeared at the U.S. embassy to apply for a birth certificate and passport for his infant daughter. Sure enough, William Patrick Alston turned out to be a murderer who had escaped from a prison in Pennsylvania 11 years earlier. Holtz alerted various authorities and Alston was rearrested.


In 2004 Holtz earned a Master of Science degree in national security studies from the National War College.


From 2004-2006 Holtz was the State Department’s coordinator for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.


She was the director of The Middle East Partnership Initiative, managing the State Department’s democracy promotion program in the Middle East (2006-2007).


Holtz served as head of the Office of Provincial Affairs at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq (2009-2010), which included running the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Teams.


Her previous assignment before becoming ambassador was deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy and strategic communications in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.


Holtz speaks Arabic, Turkish, and French.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky


Official Biography (State Department)

State Department Cables (

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