Strategic Communications Executive
Heather Nauert served as Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and Spokesperson for The Department of State, from 2017 to 2019. In that dual role, she articulated U.S. foreign policy and coordinated public messaging for the Department, its leadership, and 294 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide.
She also helped plan, execute and manage messaging on overseas trips by SecretaryMichael R. Pompeo, during travel to 26 countries. Nauert was the fourth-ranking senior official at State as Under Secretary, overseeing 952 staff and a $1.2 billion budget. She was also the Department’s highest-ranking woman – all while simultaneously serving as Department Spokesperson.
Her policy knowledge and interaction with thought leaders helped to generate international support for key diplomatic initiatives, including the “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign on North Korea, which produced a breakthrough agreement on negotiations. Nauert provided strategic counsel to Secretary Pompeo during five meetings with North Korean officials, including Chairman Kim Jong Un, and was in a select U.S. delegation that brought home three American prisoners from North Korea in 2018.
Nauert effectively advocated for the administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy, arguing in her international visits that all nations must protect their sovereignty from economic coercion by other countries, particularly China. She was similarly an integral part of U.S. delegations who discussed directly with the Chinese their actions in the South China Sea, trade, forced technology transfer, and human rights.
She oversaw the U.S. effort to combat state-sponsored disinformation campaigns overseas and formed international coalitions to counter Russian propaganda. She secured $40 million in government funding for these programs and expanded the Department’s mission to include confronting propaganda from China and Iran.
While at State, Nauert served as board member of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which governs taxpayer-funded foreign news services, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
Before joining State, Nauert spent nearly 20 years as an anchor and reporter at Fox News and ABC News, where she covered many of the world’s most consequential stories, including the September 11 attacks, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
Nauert was born in Rockford, Ill., and spent much of her childhood in Wisconsin. She has an M.A. in Journalism from Columbia University and received her B.A. from Mount Vernon College. She lives with her husband and two young children in New York. Nauert serves as a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and on the board of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program.