A native of Clearwater Beach, Florida, Nancy McEldowney was sworn in as the US Ambassador to Bulgaria on July 25, 2008. McEldowney completed her undergraduate studies at New College and holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and the National Defense University.
A member of the Foreign Service, McEldowney has served overseas at US Embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Bonn, Germany. In addition, she was a member of the US delegation to the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks with the Soviet Union in Geneva, Switzerland.
Within the State Department, McEldowney has worked in the Office of Soviet Affairs, the Office of European Security Affairs, the Front Office of the European Bureau and the Office of the Deputy Secretary. She has also served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.
In her most recent Washington assignment, McEldowney served at the White House as director of European Affairs on the National Security Council. She then served as deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan and as the deputy chief mission in Ankara, Turkey, from June 2005 to March 2008.
McEldowney speaks several languages, including Arabic and Azerbaijani.