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Uzra Zeya

Uzra Zeya was sworn as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights by Secretary Blinken July 14, 2021. In this role, she leads global diplomatic efforts to strengthen democracy, advance universal human rights, support refugees and humanitarian relief, promote rule of law and counternarcotics cooperation, fight corruption and intolerance, prevent armed conflict, and eliminate human trafficking. On December 20, 2021, Secretary Blinken announced her designation to serve concurrently as the U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, for which she leads U.S. efforts to support the human rights and meet the humanitarian needs of the Tibetan people and preserve their unique cultural, religious, and linguistic identity.

Under Secretary Zeya brings to these roles over three decades of diplomatic and leadership acumen at the intersection of international peace, security, and human rights. From 2019 to 2021, she served as president and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, a non-partisan global network of more than 130 organizations working in more than 180 countries to end conflict by peaceful means. During her 27-year Foreign Service career, Zeya served as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Paris; acting assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; chief of staff to the deputy secretary of state; political minister-counselor in New Delhi; and deputy executive secretary to Secretaries of State Rice and Clinton. She also served in Syria, Egypt, Oman, Jamaica, and in various policy roles at the Department of State. Zeya speaks Arabic, French and Spanish.

Zeya is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, where she co-authored a 2021 report on Revitalizing the State Department and American Diplomacy, and is a current commissioner of the Congressional-Executive Committee on China and an ex-officio member of the U.S. Institute of Peace Board of Directors. She has served on the Advisory Board for the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and several non-profit boards focused on women’s empowerment, peacebuilding, and digital freedom. She also served previously as a Practitioner in Residence at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program, where she taught coursework on U.S.-European relations. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and the recipient of several State Department Superior Honor and Senior Performance awards, the Presidential Rank Award, and the French Legion d’Honneur.

U.S. Department of State

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