Ambassador (ret) Holtz, was a career foreign service officer for 36 years, serving mostly in the Middle East and North Africa. She is the President and CEO of Amideast, a leading American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training, and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. Until August 2023, Amb Holtz was the Chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. Prior to that, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to Oman, the U.S. Charge d’affaires in Qatar, Senior U.S. Coordinator for Afghanistan Evacuation “Operations Allies Refuge”in Doha, Qatar, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Minister-Counselor for Provincial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to the Commanding General of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
Additional overseas assignments include postings in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, and Turkey. At the State Department, Ambassador Holtz was also the Director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the State Department’s Coordinator for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and a Senior Watch Officer in the State Department’s Executive Secretariat’s Operations Center.
A native of Evanston, Illinois and resident of Potomac, MD, Ambassador Holtz received a B.S. in political science from Vanderbilt University, a M.A. in International Relations from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, and a M.S. in National Security Studies from the National War College. Ambassador Holtz speaks French, Arabic, and Turkish.
Ambassador Holtz is the recipient of numerous State Department awards, as well as awards from the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency.