Acting Assistant Secretary
Matthew Lussenhop joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (PDAS) in July 2019 and is currently the Acting Assistant Secretary. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor, and has served his country as a Foreign Service Officer since 1990.
Prior to his arrival at ECA, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at the Embassy of the United States to the Kingdom of Belgium, August 2016 – June 2019, including 18 months as Chargé d'affaires. From 2013 - 16, he was the DCM at the U.S. Embassy to the Kingdom of Morocco, including ten months as the Chargé d'affaires. Mr. Lussenhop previously served in ECA as a Senior Advisor for Policy from 2011-13.
Mr. Lussenhop has served in the field of public diplomacy and strategic communications in numerous posts overseas, including Public Affairs Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan from 2010-11. Other overseas assignments include positions at U.S. embassies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Muscat, Oman; Rabat, Morocco; Sofia, Bulgaria; and Manila, Philippines.
In Washington, D.C., Mr. Lussenhop has served in the State Department’s Bureau of Near East and North African Affairs, and as Director of Public Diplomacy Training at the Foreign Service Institute.
Mr. Lussenhop is the recipient of multiple State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards. He speaks Arabic and French, and is a native of Minnesota and a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
Aleisha Woodward joined the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, and is currently the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the bureau. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she oversees strategic planning, policy coordination, evaluation, innovation, and alumni engagement that cut across and support the program branches of ECA. Ms. Woodward also leads the Bureau’s efforts to protect cultural heritage in support of foreign policy goals.
Since joining the Foreign Service in 1998, Ms. Woodward has served in at U.S. embassies in Japan, the United Kingdom, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Ireland, and Korea, and as Consul General in Perth, Australia. In Washington, she has worked in the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands and as a Senior Watch Officer in the Operations Center.
Ms. Woodward received undergraduate and graduate degrees in international relations from Brigham Young University. In 2010, she was awarded a graduate degree in national security strategy by the National War College.
Ms. Woodward speaks Japanese, Russian, and Romanian; she can also shop in Spanish and French. She grew up on a potato farm in the southeast of Washington state. She enjoys traveling, scuba diving, cheering for her favorite Australian Rules Football team, singing in her church choir, and keeping in touch with her large, extended family.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges
Stacy E. White is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges, responsible for overseeing a broad array of professional, youth, cultural, sports and tech camp exchange programs for U.S. and international participants, including those supported by the Offices of International Visitors and Citizen Exchanges. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, and has served as a Foreign Service Officer for more than 30 years.
Ms. White has served as an American diplomat abroad at U.S. embassies in Canada, Mexico, Finland, Panama, Malaysia and Indonesia. Most recently, Ms. White was Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Ottawa, Canada, where she spent most of 2020 as the acting Deputy Chief of Mission.
In Washington, D.C., Ms. White has served in the Bureau of the Western Hemisphere and in the Foreign Service Institute as the Deputy Director of Public Diplomacy Training. In 2005, she represented the State Department as its Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council.
Ms. White considers the best jobs in the State Department to be in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She previously served as the Director of the Office of International Visitors (2016-2018) and the Chief of Cultural Programs in the Office of Citizen Exchanges (2012-2015). She is a great believer in the transformational power of people-to-people exchanges.
Before entering the Foreign Service, Ms. White was an award-winning broadcast journalist in Texas and Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a bachelors degree in journalism and earned her M.A. in international relations in Leiden, the Netherlands, at Webster College. A native Texan of pioneer heritage, she and her teenage son, Landon, spend most holidays at the family homestead in Central Texas.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs
Marianne Craven is Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State. She is a career civil servant and former Foreign Service officer who had overseas assignments in Mali, Poland, and Italy. She works with programs including Fulbright Scholarships, Humphrey Fellowships, Gilman Scholarships, EducationUSA advising about U.S. higher education, young leader exchanges, and English and foreign language programs. Ms. Craven also serves as a liaison for the State Department with the East-West Center in Hawaii, and she contributes to the development of U.S. positions on international higher education issues in multilateral fora.
She has held several positions in the ECA Bureau in Washington administering international educational and cultural programs. She is originally from Middlebury, Vermont, and is a graduate of Smith College.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy
Kristin Roberts is the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and the Director of the Office of Policy in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
Ms. Roberts began her career with the U.S. Department of State in 2005 and has served in a variety of positions in the Foreign Service. Before joining ECA, Ms. Roberts served as a public diplomacy desk officer in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibility for the Aegean, NATO, and European Union. Prior to that she was the press attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. She oversaw the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in Washington, DC. Prior to those postings, she worked in the State Department Operations Center, the 24/7 command center for crisis management and communications. Ms. Roberts has also served overseas at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan and at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.
Ms. Roberts earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington. She has studied Georgian, Russian, Urdu, and Swedish. She is married to a fellow Foreign Service Officer and they have two sons.
G. Kevin Saba
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange
G. Kevin Saba serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, he oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings around 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States annually to teach, study, and build skills. He is concurrently the Director for the Policy and Program Support Division in ECA’s Office of Private Sector Exchange.
Mr. Saba joined the Department of State (DOS) in 2002 as Special Advisor to the Chief Financial Officer. He subsequently served as the DOS liaison assisting with the start-up of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). From 2003 -2005, he served as the first Managing Director of the Threshold Country Program of the MCC, administering large-scale grants to fund country-led initiatives to create conditions conducive to reducing poverty and contributing to sustainable economic growth. Mr. Saba returned to DOS in 2006 and assisted in the launch of the Global Partnership Initiative, an effort aimed at strengthening U.S. diplomacy and development worldwide by leveraging the creativity, innovation, and core business resources of civil society, public and private sector partners. During his tenure, Mr. Saba served as Regional Director for Global Partnerships and acted as co-chair of the public-private partnership task force of the Secretary of State’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR). He has also has served with the Bureau of International Information Programs.
Mr. Saba has more than 20 years of private sector experience serving in various leadership capacities. His most recent private sector experience included serving as President of Managed Care USA and President of Nations' Care, a subsidiary of the Orion Capital Companies. In June 2008, Kevin was accredited by the Overseas Development Institute and the International Business Leaders Forum as a professional broker of multi-sector partnerships. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Hartford and has enjoyed teaching college courses in business.