United States President Donald Trump has nominated the Kurdish Herro Mustafa, a career diplomat currently deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Lisbon, to be the next ambassador to Bulgaria, a White House statement said.
Mustafa was born in Erbil, Iraq, in the Kurdistan region, to a Kurdish family and spent two years of her childhood in a refugee camp. Her family sought asylum in the United States in 1976. Her father was a Kurdish political activist and an opponent of the regime of Saddam Hussein. The family was taken in by Zion Lutheran Church at Minot, North Dakota in 1976.
Mustafa began her foreign diplomatic service in Lisbon, Portugal as deputy chief of mission in July 2016.
Previously, she was the Political Minister Counselor at Embassy New Delhi. Prior to working in India, Herro was an adviser to US Vice President Joe Biden from 2009-2011, providing counsel on issues related to the Middle East and South and Central Asia.
As part of her Foreign Service career, Herro was Deputy Director of the Afghanistan Office, acting Chief-of-Staff for Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns, and an Advisor on the Middle East for former Under Secretary Nicholas Burns, where she was closely involved in the P5+1 talks on Iran.
Herro was Director for Iran, Israeli-Palestinian Affairs, and Jordan at the National Security Council from 2005-2006 and Director for Iraq and Afghanistan from 2004-2005. Before that, Herro was the lead US Civilian Coordinator in Mosul, Iraq; a Consular Officer in Beirut, Lebanon; and a Political Officer in Athens, Greece.
Herro grew up in Minot, North Dakota and speaks Kurdish, Arabic, Farsi, Greek, Hindi, and Portuguese. She has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and a Masters from Princeton University. She is married and has two young daughters.
If confirmed, she will succeed Eric Rubin, whose term of office as US ambassador to Bulgaria has come to an end. Rubin, a career diplomat who was US ambassador from 2016 to 2019, has won promotion to head the American Foreign Service Association.
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