Joan A. Polaschik

Photo of Joan A. Polaschik
U.S. Ambassador to Algeria
Term of Appointment: 09/22/2014 to present

Joan A. Polaschik, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, currently serves as Director of the Office of Egypt and Levant Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, a position she has held since 2013. With a strong background in the region, including assignments in Tunisia, Jordan and most recently, Libya, Ms. Polaschik stands out for her focused calm and ability to remain cool in a crisis. She has shown outstanding leadership and has been cited for her mentorship and interpersonal skills. She also has significant U.S. interagency experience with a focus on regional security and counterterrorism, experience that will prove valuable in Algeria, the largest country in Africa and second most populous Arab country.

Previously, Ms. Polaschik served in 2013 as Acting Director in the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the Department of State. From 2008 to 2009, she studied Arabic at the Department’s Foreign Service Institute and then served as Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Libya, from 2009 to 2012. Before that, she was Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at U.S. Embassy Baku, Azerbaijan from 2005 to 2008, and served as Regional Refugee Coordinator based at U.S. Embassy Amman, Jordan from 2001 to 2004. Ms. Polaschik also has served as Iran Desk Officer from 2000 to 2001, and as Staff Assistant in the Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs from 1999 to 2000. Her other assignments have included serving as Political Officer in Embassy Tunis, Tunisia from 1997 to 1999, and as Consular and General Services Officer at U.S. Embassy Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 1995 to 1996.

Ms. Polaschik earned a B.A. in Russian Studies and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Ms. Polaschik speaks both Arabic and French.