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Kristen A. Cordell

U.S. Department of State

2024 fellow

Kristen A. Cordell is a Senior Policy Advisor to the Director for Foreign Assistance (F) within the U.S. Department of State, where she focuses on international investment and infrastructure. Most recently, she led an interagency review of Foreign Assistance resourcing in support of quality, sustainable infrastructure.

As a White House Leadership Development Program Fellow, she is assigned to the Chief Sustainability Office in the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Office.

Ms. Cordell joined the State Department following a decade at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she established the inaugural team on strategic competition. During her time in the federal government and previously with the United Nations (UN), she worked with community leaders rebuilding a refugee camp in North Lebanon, activists fighting for human rights in Afghanistan, and women peacekeepers providing security in Liberia.

Ms. Cordell has served on several details and delegations, including the UN’s General Assembly (UNGA), the Organization for Economic Cooperation on Development (OECD), and the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In 2020, she received the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship (CFR-IAF), which she used to research multilateralism in an era of strategic competition. She is currently a Strategy and Statecraft Fellow at the Center for International Studies (CSIS) and a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). She has a master’s degree in Global Business Administration.

Certified in mindfulness and breathwork techniques, Ms. Cordell is using these skills to try to spark a movement toward mainstream compassion, sustainability, and resilience practices across the federal government. She is driven by a deep sense of personal purpose and public service. She leads with empathy and curiosity and prioritizes helping others identify their unique gifts and motivations through mentorship.

Ms. Cordell spends her weekends getting out into nature with her husband and daughter.

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