Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Ambassador Laura E. Kennedy
Ambassador Laura Kennedy assumed her duties as Charge d’Affaires at the U. S. Embassy on June 5, pending U.S. Senate action on the nomination by President Obama of Allan Mustard as the next U. S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan. Laura Kennedy served as U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan 2001-03 and returned to Ashgabat several times after that in various governmental capacities.
After graduating from Vassar College and American University, Laura E. Kennedy joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1975. Her domestic assignments include the Offices of People's Republic of China Affairs, Soviet Affairs, Jordan/Syria/Lebanon/Palestinian Affairs (Deputy Director), and Central Eurasian Affairs (Director). Abroad, she was detailed to an official US-USSR exchange exhibit in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. She served at U.S. Embassies in Moscow (twice) Ankara, Yerevan (Charge d'Affaires), and Ashgabat and at U.S. Missions to international organizations in Vienna (Deputy Permanent Representative) and Geneva. She was appointed by President George W. Bush as Ambassador to Turkmenistan (2001-2003). She subsequently served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Deputy Commandant at the National War College. President Obama appointed her U.S. Permanent Representative (2010-2013) to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. She also served concurrently in Geneva as the U.S. Special Representative for Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) Issues.
Ambassador Kennedy was given the Secretary's Career Achievement Award upon her retirement in 2013. She has been retained as a consultant on international security affairs, lectured, and helped write new guidelines on Chiefs of Mission for the American Foreign Service Association. Kennedy was recalled to active service by the Director General to serve as Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan.
Ambassador Kennedy is married to retired U.S. diplomat, John Feeney, and has two sons, Martin and Patrick Feeney.