Marie Yovanovitch Headshot

Marie Yovanovitch

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine

Marie Yovanovitch Headshot


Marie Yovanovitch is the author of a New York Times best-selling memoir, Lessons from the Edge. She is also a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a nonresident fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Previously, Yovanovitch served as the US ambassador to Ukraine (2016–2019), the Republic of Armenia (2008–2011) and the Kyrgyz Republic (2005–2008).

She also served as the dean of the School of Language Studies at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State and as the deputy commandant and international advisor at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at National Defense University. Earlier, she served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where she coordinated policy on European and global security issues. Before that, she was the bureau’s deputy assistant secretary responsible for issues related to the Nordic, Baltic, and Central European countries. 

In 2003-2004, Yovanovitch was the senior advisor to the under secretary of state for political affairs. Prior to that, she was the deputy chief of mission of the US embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. Within the Department of State, Yovanovitch has worked on the Russia desk, the Office of European Security Affairs, and the Operations Center. She has also worked overseas at the US embassies in Moscow, London, Ottawa, and Mogadishu. 

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Yovanovitch has earned the Senior Foreign Service Performance Award eight times and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award on nine occasions. She is also the recipient of two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award. 

Following her retirement in 2020, Yovanovitch received the Trainor Award for Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy from Georgetown University, the inaugural Richard G. Lugar Award from Indiana University, the 2020 PEN/Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, the Morgenthau Award from the Armenian Assembly of America, the American Spirit Award for Distinguished Public Service from the Common Good, the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the University of Illinois System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and the Vandenberg Prize from the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.