The Leaderboard: Judith Cefkin

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.

Who is she?

Judith Cefkin is a career Foreign Service Officer and senior Burma advisor for the State Department. In her previous assignments, she has served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, and has served tours in Paris, Mexico City, and Manila.

Judith Cefkin. Source: U.S. Government Work.

Judith Cefkin. Source: U.S. Government Work.

Why is she in the news?

President Barack Obama on July 8 nominated Cefkin to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu. If confirmed by the Senate, she will succeed Frankie A. Reed, who has been in that position since 2011.

What can we expect from her?

Cefkin was deeply involved with the effort to normalize and improve U.S. relations with Myanmar. She will be well-placed to manage the U.S.-Fiji relationship as Fiji heads to the polls for its first elections since the 2006 coup that brought Vice Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama to power.


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