Eileen O’Connor

United States of America




Natalia Skobnikova


Former CNN Correspondent and Lawyer

Eileen O’Connor is the deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia and senior director of Communications and Public Diplomacy in the office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Eileen manages strategic communications and supports critical foreign policy goals through approximately $220 million in public diplomacy programs that build capacity in civil society and government institutions, counter violent extremism, expand information access, and improve education. She served in a similar role in Embassy Kabul from May 2011 to July 2012.

Previously, Eileen spent 24 years as an award-winning on-air reporter, producer, and bureau chief for ABC News and CNN, covering the White House and conflicts in Bosnia, Chechnya, Northern Ireland, Israel, Ossetia, Ingushetia and the fall of Communism from bases in London, Moscow, Tokyo and Washington.

Between her news and diplomatic careers Eileen worked as an attorney specializing in legal crisis management for high profile litigation, investigations and controversies both in the U.S. and abroad. She served as president of the International Center for Journalists, a nonprofit that trains journalists in emerging democracies, and provided other pro bono services to the Center for Justice and Accountability, the Women’s Refugee Commission and Vital Voices Global Partnership. Eileen is an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Law Center, and a member of the Atlantic Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.