Michele Thoren Bond
Michele Thoren Bond is a former Assistant Secretary of State with expertise in immigration policy, strategic planning, crisis management, intercountry adoption and public advocacy. With more than 40 years’ diplomatic experience in Europe, Latin America and Africa, Ambassador Bond is adept at engaging constructively with hostile or skeptical audiences, and resolving complex problems. She is a former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho.
As Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs (2015-2017), Ambassador Bond led the second-largest bureau at the Department of State: 13,000 staff at more than 200 domestic and international locations. The Bureau protects the lives and interests of U.S. citizens abroad, facilitates legitimate international travel by adjudicating applications for U.S. passports and visas, and helps secure U.S. borders. With a $4 billion budget funded entirely by consular fees, she ensured a metric-based business model, including systems modernization and continuous process innovations to improve security, customer service and efficiency.
Ambassador Bond is a committed advocate for intercountry adoption. She was the official face of U.S. adoptions at Embassy Moscow (1996-1998), meeting with court and orphanage officials, and appearing on public media, to counter skepticism about foreign adoptions and highlight bilateral coordination designed to place children who needed a family in safe and loving homes. Following the massive 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she led an inter-agency initiative, working with Haitian authorities to finalize the legal process and accelerate the departure of hundreds of orphans whose adoptions by American families were pending when the earthquake struck. In 2015, she spearheaded an international effort to resolve a two-year suspension of adoptions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As Consul General in Amsterdam (2003-2006), she reached out to young entrepreneurs and community leaders in Amsterdam’s Turkish and Moroccan immigrant communities during a period of growing controversy about immigration in Europe. Her activities included volunteering to teach computer skills at a majority-immigrant public school, and organizing a tour of an immigrant neighborhood, and meeting with community leaders, for Amsterdam’s consular corps.
Ambassador Bond also served in Guatemala City, Belgrade, Stockholm, Prague and Washington. She speaks proficient Spanish, and conversational Swedish, Serbo-Croatian and French.
Ambassador Bond received the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award from American Citizens Abroad, for outstanding service to U.S. citizens abroad, and the 2010 Mary A. Ryan Award for outstanding public service.
An honors graduate of Wellesley College, Ambassador Bond earned master’s degrees at Georgetown University and the National War College. Her husband, Clifford G. Bond, is also a retired diplomat and a former U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They have four adult children, and live in Washington DC.