Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried is stepping down, the State Department announced Monday.
Donfried served in the post for a year and a half, beginning in late September 2021 after being nominated in March of that year. Her absence leaves a critical diplomatic post open as the U.S. confronts several issues in Europe and Eurasia, from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to NATO expansion.
I express my deep gratitude to my friend and colleague Karen Donfried as she departs the @StateDept. She led the EUR Bureau with utmost distinction during a time of crisis, managing our relationships with our European allies with extraordinary skill. She’ll be missed by all.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) March 20, 2023
“Karen has deftly managed our relationships with many of our most important allies and partners at a time when Kremlin aggression threatened decades of peace and prosperity. Her policy acumen, integrity, and drive defined her leadership as Assistant Secretary and represent the highest values of public service,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “An exceptional leader, Karen has nurtured and empowered her team, positioning the Bureau and, in turn, the Department to pursue most effectively the interests and defend the values we share with our European allies.”
Donfried previously served as president of the German Marshall Fund and in the Obama administration as Senior Director for European Affairs on the National Security Council. (RELATED: China Set To Spend Way More In One Area Than Biden After President Releases His Spending Plan)
The Biden administration has not announced who will be nominated to fill Donfried’s post, nor has she said where she will be going next, other than that she will be spending more time with her family.