Joanne H. Cummings is a career Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State and has served extensively in the Middle East and North Africa. Daughter of a Foreign Service family, she was raised in Lebanon, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. She has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jerusalem, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, and Syria, and as well as regionally from Morocco through Pakistan. Ms. Cummings has served in economic, political, military, and refugee affairs positions in Baghdad and elsewhere. She has twice served as POLAD (Foreign Policy Advisor) to military commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. After serving as Economic Section Chief in Syria, she served a similar position in Yemen as Political/Economic Counselor. She has lived through, and served in, a variety of stress and conflict environments. She was evacuated from Syria.
Ms. Cummings was born in Lincoln, Nebraska before moving overseas with her parents and sister when she was two years old. She was graduated summa cum laude in History from the American University in Beirut. She received her MA in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin. She speaks Arabic fluently (Lebanese, Egyptian, Saudi, and Iraqi dialects) and French. She is also familiar with Spanish, Hebrew, Farsi, and Kurdish.