Washington, D.C. – WestExec Advisors today announced that Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley has joined the firm as a Senior Advisor. A veteran diplomat and policy advisor, Gina will assist clients as they navigate complex geopolitical situations, especially in the Middle East, build and leverage diverse and inclusive teams, and address concerns surrounding cybersecurity.
Gina currently serves as President of the Middle East Policy Council, a think tank that works to advance American understanding of the political, economic, and cultural issues that affect U.S. interests in the Middle East and is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She began her career in public service as a Foreign Service Officer stationed in Iraq, followed by postings in Indonesia, Egypt, the U.S., Tunisia, and Israel. She then went on to serve as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and subsequently held the position of Director for the Arabian Peninsula on the National Security Council. In 2002, she was appointed U.S. Consul General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the first woman to hold this post. While there, she received a citation for ‘acts of courage’ performed during the deadly 2004 Al Qaeda attack on the consulate. Returning to the U.S., she held several senior roles in the State Department, including as Director of Middle East Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute and as United States Coordinator for Counterterrorism.
In 2012, President Obama nominated Gina to serve as U.S. ambassador to Malta, a post she held until 2016. From 2018 to 2021, she ran Abercrombie-Winstanley Consulting, where she advised clients on issues ranging from U.S. policy in the Middle East, to the positive impact of diversity and inclusion on U.S. foreign policymaking, to cyber security challenges, and counterterrorism. She served in 2020 as co-chair of the Diversity in National Security Working Group for the Biden Campaign and was subsequently asked by Secretary of State Blinken to take the position of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the State Department.
Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec said, “We are so excited to welcome Gina to the firm as a Senior Advisor. In her decades-long career as a diplomat and policymaker at the highest levels of the U.S. government, she has developed deep geopolitical expertise and a keen understanding of the challenges that globally engaged organizations face. We know that our clients will benefit from the full range of her experience and expertise.”
Gina is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security. In 2019, she co-founded the Leadership Council for Women in National Security, and she has been an active Board member for 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. Gina was voted into the American Academy of Diplomacy, in 2019.