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Amb. Greta Holtz

Chancellor College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University

Ambassador Greta C. Holtz is the Chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. She enjoyed 35 years as a career diplomat with extensive experience in the Middle East region and in leadership positions at the State Department. She retired in April 2021 with the rank of Minister Counselor and was called back to service to be the Senior United States Coordinator for Operation Allies Refuge in Qatar from August -October 2021. She was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to the Commanding General of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) from 2017-2019. She served as the United States Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman from 2012 to 2015 and was the Vice-Chancellor at the College of International Security Affairs from 2016 to 2017. Ambassador Holtz was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2010-12), and she ran the United States Provincial Reconstruction teams in Iraq from 2009-2010, overseeing more than 800 interagency employees and a reconstruction budget of close to $1 billion.

Overseas assignments include Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, Oman, Qatar, Iraq and Turkey, and additional domestic assignments include serving as the director of the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the United States Coordinator for the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, and as a Senior Watch Officer in the Operations Center.

Holtz has a B.S. in political science from Vanderbilt University, an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, and an M.A. in National Security Strategy from the National War College. She speaks French, Arabic, and Turkish.

Ambassador Holtz is the recipient of numerous State Department Superior Honor Awards, two Presidential Rank nominations, Vanderbilt University’s Phi Alpha Theta Distinguished Alumnus Award, the CIA Christopher Medallion, a Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; a Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award from the President of National Defense University; and a Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award from the Chancellor of NDU’s College of International Security Affairs.

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