Ambassador Alina L. Romanowski assumed her post as Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Kuwait on February 11, 2020. A career member of the Senior Executive Service, Ambassador Romanowski was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait on January 6, 2020. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Department of State’s Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism (2016-2020), where she oversaw the coordination and integration of U.S. counterterrorism policy objectives and developed and implemented U.S. counterterrorism assistance and capacity-building programs with key U.S. partners. During almost 40 years of service across various U.S government agencies, Ambassador Romanowski has become expert on Middle East affairs.
Previously at the Department of State, Ambassador Romanowski served as the Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia (2015-2016) and coordinated closely with the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs and the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance. She also held Deputy Assistant Secretary positions in the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (2005-2011) and served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2004-2005). She joined the Department of State in 2003 to establish the Middle East Partnership Initiative Office and serve as its first Director (2003-2005).
At the U.S. Agency for International Development from 2011 to 2015, she served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau, including as the acting Assistant Administrator for the bureau. Ambassador Romanowski also served at the Defense Department from 1990-2003, including in senior positions. She was the founding Director of the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Director of the NESA Office, and country director for Israel. She began her U.S. government career as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency (1980-1990).
Ambassador Romanowski’s awards include a Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for Senior Executive Service; two Presidential Meritorious Rank Awards for Senior Executive Service; several Department of State Superior Rank Awards; two Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Awards; and a CIA Exceptional Performance Award.
Ambassador Romanowski received an M.A. and a B.A. from the University of Chicago. She studied at Tel Aviv University in Israel. She speaks French and has studied Arabic and Hebrew. Ambassador Romanowski is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ambassador Romanowski is married to Bill Matzelevich, a retired United States Navy Captain, and they have two adult children.