“How They Got There” with Salvatore Amodeo (MSFS ’97): Featuring Alison Maher, U.S. Diplomat/Political Affairs @ U.S. Department of State
This webinar series, hosted by State Department FSO Salvatore Amodeo (MSFS ’97), will feature bi-monthly hour long discussions of a featured guest’s successful career path. Highlighted will be how their education and experience led them to their career, what factors helped them succeed, and how they overcame challenges faced on their career path.
This week, Sal features Alison Maher. Alison has over 20 years of executive level policy and leadership experience in Washington DC, NY, and overseas. She is currently a private consultant advising clients on global growth strategies particularly in the areas of emerging technologies and R&D Investment. Before transitioning to the private sector, Alison spent over a decade serving as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer at U.S. Embassies in China, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Israel as well as at the State Department in Washington, DC and the United Nations (UN) in NY. She has served in a variety of senior positions where she led multinational and inter-agency teams at the UN and around the world. Additionally, Alison managed a diverse range of foreign policy priorities including China’s intellectual property rights in its accession to the WTO, counterterrorism issues in the Middle East and South Asia; international negotiations on Iranian sanctions, directing the distribution of $10 billion in U.S. humanitarian aid to Africa, leading coordination with the Department of Defense on the Lebanon and Iraq Task Forces, negotiations on Israeli- Palestinian peace accords, and overseeing both nuclear proliferation issues and international military sales to the Middle East among many other responsibilities. As a political advisor, she has supported the highest levels of the U.S. Government at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the State Department, and the Department of Defense. Prior to her diplomatic assignments, Alison worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a Senior Political Analyst responsible for various parts of the Middle East. She took on special assignments leading interagency teams on counterterrorism, terrorist financing, weapons proliferation, and the Iraq Task Force, coordinating with and reporting directly to the Director of the CIA. Alison also had the rewarding opportunity to serve as the President’s Daily Briefer. Earlier in her career, Alison worked in management consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and in corporate finance at Goldman Sachs. She also brings broad leadership experience serving on the board of several non-profit organizations. Alison grew up in Palm Bay, Florida and earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from NYU and a Master of Science in Foreign Service with a concentration in U.S. Foreign Policy from Georgetown University. She is the recipient of numerous State Department, CIA, and interagency Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.