Diplomat In Residence
Laura Gritz is the Diplomat in Residence Southwest covering New Mexico, Arizona, and El Paso. Based at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Laura advises Southwest students and residents who are interested in pursuing State Department opportunities and careers.
Laura joined the Foreign Service in 2001 and most recently served as Public Diplomacy Advisor in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, which promotes U.S. values and advances human rights globally.
Laura served as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassies in Oslo and Reykjavik and at the U.S. Consulate in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. As Public Affairs Officer, she engaged with foreign media, managed international exchanges, and promoted security and economic cooperation. Early in her career, Laura served as Deputy Press Officer at U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan; Deputy Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Lusaka, Zambia; and Vice Consul at U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand. She has studied German, Thai, Icelandic, Dari, and Norwegian.
Laura has served in numerous international affairs positions in Washington, D.C. In the Bureau of International Information Programs, she promoted innovation in diplomacy through new technologies. In the Office of UNESCO Affairs, she developed and implemented U.S. policy on culture and communication issues, including World Heritage Sites.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Laura worked as a corporate recruiter placing transitioning U.S. military officers in private sector careers. She also served six years active duty in the U.S. Army. Her Army assignments included Ft. Eustis, Virginia; Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy; Ft. Lee, Virginia; and Ft. Hood, Texas.
Laura holds a B.A. in English and German from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Organizational Management from The George Washington University, and an M.A. in Strategic Studies from the Army War College. She is originally from Seattle, Washington.
Please contact Laura by email at DIRSouthwest@state.gov