Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2013: Mahvash Siddiqui
Mahvash Siddiqui joined the Department in 2004. She first served in the Office of Terrorism Finance (EB), where she collaborated with the National Security Council to designate 55 foreign terrorist organizations. Mahvash went onto serve as consular officer in India where she capitalized on her technology background to guide fellow officers on nuclear proliferation concerns. Having knowledge of 7 Indian languages, she also proved to be an asset to U.S. public diplomacy (PD) efforts. In her third tour, as cultural attache in Qatar, Mahvash learned Arabic to “help change hearts and minds” by connecting with 100 Qatari tribes. She was also honored to handpick the first female Qatari Fulbright scholar and the first female Qatari Olympic Committee visiting delegation.
In her fourth assignment, as PD officer at the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Mahvash engaged the media to highlight the work of President Obama’s Administration in combating WMD. The White House tasked Mahvash to draft strategic communications plans for the Arms Trade Treaty and Biological Weapons Convention, which she found “extremely gratifying given the success of those conferences in making the world safer.” Mahvash is currently serving as financial economist in the Office of Investment Affairs (EB) where she leverages PD to promote economic statecraft. In addition to guiding American companies on investment climates of 185 countries, she helps resolve high-profile investment disputes.
Being a “Jill-of-all-trades” with a background in genetic engineering and MBA, Mahvash says she would be “cloning genes” if it weren’t for this exciting career.