Ambassador Alina L. Romanowski

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq

Ambassador Alina L. Romanowski, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, assumed her post as U.S. ambassador to Iraq on June 2, 2022.  She served as U.S. ambassador to Kuwait from January 2020 to March 2022.  Prior to her ambassadorial appointments, she served as the Department of State’s principal deputy coordinator for counterterrorism (2016-20), where she oversaw the coordination and integration of U.S. counterterrorism policy objectives and assistance programs with key international partners.

Over 40 years of service across various U.S government agencies, Romanowski has become an expert on Middle East affairs.  At the State Department, Romanowski served as the coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia (2015-16).  She also held deputy assistant secretary positions in the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (2005-11) and served as acting deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2004-05).  She joined the Department of State in 2003 to establish the Middle East Partnership Initiative Office and served as its first director (2003-05). At the U.S. Agency for International Development (2011-15), she served as deputy assistant administrator for the Middle East Bureau, including as the acting assistant administrator for the bureau.  

Romanowski also served at the Defense Department from 1990-2003, including in senior positions. She was the founding director of the Near East/South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director of the NESA office, and country director for Israel.  She began her U.S. government career as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency (1980-90).

Romanowski’s awards include a Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for Senior Executive Service; two Presidential Meritorious Rank Awards for Senior Executive Service; several Department of State Superior Rank Awards; two Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Awards; and a CIA Exceptional Performance Award. Romanowski received an MA and a BA from the University of Chicago.  She studied at Tel Aviv University in Israel.  She speaks French and has studied Arabic and Hebrew.  Romanowski is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.