Biography

Photo of Sue Saarnio
Sue Saarnio
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
Canada, Mexico and Regional Economic Policy
Term of Appointment: 05/2015 to present

Sue Saarnio is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Canada, Mexico and Regional Economic Policy. She previously served as Director of Canadian Affairs and started her diplomatic career at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. She is a career Foreign Service Officer with 30 years of experience working on international trade and economic issues in the U.S. State Department.

Ms. Saarnio served as the Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa responsible for the bilateral economic, trade, energy and environment relationship from 2010 to 2013. She served in the State Department’s Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Bureau from 2008 to 2010 as Deputy Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs and Director for Multilateral Trade Affairs.

She served as the U.S. Special Advisor for Conflict Diamonds representing the U.S. government in the multilateral Kimberley Process from 2005-2008 leading implementation of the U.S. Clean Diamond Trade Act. She has served at Embassies in Panama, Nicaragua and Tunisia and at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.

Prior to her government service, Ms. Saarnio worked as journalist in Montana and Minnesota. She is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended the American University in Cairo, Egypt.