Abigail Friedman

Abigail Friedman

United States of America
Trip: 
Japan
Mentoring: 

Abigail Friedman is the founder and CEO of The Wisteria Group, an international advisory firm dedicated to expanding the international presence and effectiveness of its business and not-for-profit clients. Abigail is also senior advisor at The Asia Foundation where she directs the Foundation's strategic engagement with Japan, and advises the Foundation on conflict-affected regions in Asia.

Abigail was an experienced U.S. diplomat for more than 25 years. From 2010-2011, she served at the White House as National Security Council director for Afghanistan. In that capacity, she advised the president on Afghanistan policy, led the interagency effort on Afghanistan’s economic and political transition, and negotiated the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership. Prior to that, Abigail served as a civilian embedded in a U.S. brigade north of Kabul, where she directed the civilian activities of four Provincial Reconstruction Teams and several District Support Teams, managing an international civilian team spread across four provinces. 

Previous diplomatic assignments include tours in Tokyo, Quebec, Paris, and a detail to the United Nations immediately after the Gulf War. Abigail also served as special assistant in the East Asia and Pacific bureau at the State Department, and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Six Party Talks on North Korea. Prior to joining the State Department, she worked at the U.S. Senate Office of the Legal Counsel and then as an immigration attorney. She is the recipient of several Individual State Department Superior Honor Awards. Abigail is fluent in Japanese and French, proficient in Portuguese and Spanish, and an award-winning haiku poet and author.