Ambassador Anne Elizabeth Derse, a career Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister Counselor, served for over 30 years with the U.S. Department of State in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. She was ordained in 2018.
She was U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania from 2009-2012 and to Azerbaijan from 2006-2009. Earlier in her career, she held senior positions managing economic relations at the U.S. Mission to the European Union and at the U.S. Embassies in Korea, the Philippines, and Belgium, where she also acted as the last U.S. Commissioner on the Tripartite Gold Commission. She served as Special Assistant for Asia and Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs. Ambassador Derse worked as Director for Biodefense Policy at the White House’s Homeland Security Council from 2005-2006 and she assisted in establishing the new U.S. Embassy in Iraq, where she headed the Economic Section, in 2004-2005.
Ambassador Derse attended the Deacon School at the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and the Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC, and was ordained in September 2018. She currently serves as Deacon and Minister for Community Engagement at St. John’s Norwood Episcopal Church in Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Maryland.
She holds a Presidential Meritorious Service Award, the U.S. Department of State’s Herbert Salzmann Award for Excellence in International Economic Performance, the Cordell Hull Award for Senior Economic Achievement, and six U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Awards. In 2014, she received the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Leadership Award and the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture’s Award of Excellence, and was admitted to the American Academy of Diplomacy. In 2020 she received the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Individual Leadership Award for community service.
Ambassador Derse received a B.A. in French and Linguistics from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
She speaks Azerbaijani, French, Italian, and Lithuanian.