Since June 2009, Ambassador Huddleston has been the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa; U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and to Mali; Principal Officer of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and Chargé d’affairs ad interim in Ethiopia. She was Deputy Chief of Mission in Haiti, and Director and Deputy Director of Cuban Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Defense, she was a Visiting Scholar at Brookings Institution.
Ambassador Huddleston was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). She began her overseas career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. She also worked for the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) in Peru and Brazil. Huddleston earned a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins School Advanced International Studies and a BA from the University of Colorado. She has received U.S. Department of State awards, including a Distinguished Honor Award and a Presidential Meritorious Service Award. In 2008, she was a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team for the U.S. Department of State. She is the co-author of “Learning to Salsa: New Steps in U.S.-Cuba Relations,” and opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post. She is a former commentator for NBC-Universal.