Former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the Department of State and Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta
Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley is the President of the Middle East Policy Council, a think tank that contributes to American understanding of the political, economic and cultural issues that affect U.S. interests in the Middle East, and a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Before her current appointments, she held a series of senior positions that included Ambassador to the Republic of Malta, Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander of U.S. cyber forces, Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism for the Department of State where she negotiated the establishment of the International Institute for Justice and Rule of Law, and Country Director for Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Gina was the first woman to lead a diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia as the Principal Officer in Jeddah after taking on the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for the Middle East and Africa. In addition to the State Department, she held senior positions at the Defense Department and on the National Security Council staff. Prior to that, she was a Professional Staff Member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Gina is the recipient of numerous awards including the Maltese Order of Merit, Department of State Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards, including “For acts of courage during an attack on the U.S. Consulate General, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on December 6, 2004 by al-Qa’ida terrorists”, Foreign Policy for America’s Community Leadership Award, and Peace Corps Women of Achievement.
During her break in public service, 2018-2021, she ran Abercrombie-Winstanley Consulting and advised on issues ranging from U.S. policy in the Mid-East, how diversity and inclusion improve U.S. foreign policy making, cyber security challenges, and counterterrorism. She served in 2020 as co-chair of the Diversity in National Security Working Group for the Biden campaign before being recalled to service by Secretary of State Blinken.
Gina, a Cleveland native, has degrees from The George Washington University and The Johns Hopkins University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Women of Color Advancing Peace And Security. She was a co-Founder of The Leadership Council for Women in National Security—LCWINS, and has been an active Board member for several organizations committed to excellence in professional development and leadership including the Forum for Education Abroad, College Now Greater Cleveland, and the International Career Advancement Association. She also served on the boards of the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. She sings with the Washington Performing Arts Society and has been published in the New York Times Opinion and The Foreign Service Journal. She is the co-author of two papers published in the New York Review of Science Fiction on “Diplomacy in Star Trek” and “The Representation of Disability in Star Trek”, and wrote the Forward for “The Young Black Leaders Guide to a Successful Career in International Affairs”. In 2019, she was voted into the American Academy of Diplomacy.