Alyson L. Grunder
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy
Alyson Grunder is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). She oversees the Bureau’s Alumni Affairs, Collaboratory, Public-Private Partnerships, Policy and Evaluation divisions, and ensures that ECA exchange programs are aligned with and advancing White House and Department of State foreign policy goals.
A four-time public affairs officer at overseas posts, Ms. Grunder was Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at U.S. Embassy Baghdad from 2014-2015, leading the Mission’s strategic communications and public diplomacy outreach efforts in the wake of the 2014 incursions into Iraq and Syria of the ISIL terrorist group. In addition, she has been the public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kampala, Uganda, as well as at the U.S. Consulate in Montreal, Canada. A New Yorker, Ms. Grunder has served two tours at the New York Foreign Press Center, including as Director from 2011-2014. From 1999-2001, she was a press officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and was Acting Spokesperson on 9/11.
Ms. Grunder speaks French, Japanese and some Russian, and is a recipient of multiple State Department superior and meritorious honor awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs
Marianne Craven is the Managing Director and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The programs supported by her office include Fulbright Scholarships, Humphrey Fellowships, Gilman Scholarships, undergraduate exchanges, teacher exchanges, the promotion of U.S. higher education overseas and study abroad for Americans, and English and foreign language study 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. Ms. Craven is a career civil servant who began her U.S. government career as a foreign service officer, serving in Mali, Poland, and Italy. She has held several positions in the ECA Bureau in Washington administering international educational and cultural programs. She is a graduate of Smith College.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges
Chris Miner is the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges, responsible for overseeing a broad array of professional, youth, cultural and sports exchange programs for U.S. and foreign audiences, including those supported by the Offices of International Visitors and Citizen Exchanges. She has held program and management positions within ECA since 1993.
Her other positions have included: chief of the Europe/Eurasia Division, Office of Citizen Exchanges, where she oversaw the administration of grants in the Newly Independent States, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe, and Deputy Director of the Office of Citizen Exchanges. In 2011, she received the U.S. Department of State’s Ilchman-Richardson Award in recognition and appreciation for her sustained outstanding performance, leadership, vision and integrity in advancing the mission of mutual understanding around the world. Chris graduated from Hollins University and received her M.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Virginia.
G. Kevin Saba
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Private Sector Exchanges
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 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.