UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of
Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service
Act, Section 304(a)(4)
CANDIDATE: Heather Roach Variava
Heather Roach Variava, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines. Previously, Variava served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, and as the U.S. Consul General in Surabaya, Indonesia. In Washington, Variava was the Director of the Office of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. She has also worked at the State Department Operations Center and on the Thailand desk. Overseas assignments include postings at U.S. Missions in India, Mauritius, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Variava’s substantive background in South and Southeast Asian Affairs and demonstrated ability to lead large interagency teams, coupled with over twenty-five years of broad diplomatic experience, make her a well-qualified candidate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Laos.
Variava is the recipient of numerous State Department performance awards, including five Senior Foreign Service Performance Awards. A native of Iowa, she received an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She has master’s degrees from the University of Missouri and from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. Variava also received a Master of Science from the National War College and completed a fellowship in executive leadership with the International Women’s Forum (IWF). She speaks Indonesian and has studied French, German, and Vietnamese.