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Ms. Cara L. Abercrombie

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Ms. Abercrombie

Ms. Abercrombie is the Principal Director, Security Cooperation Workforce Development Directorate with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, responsible for overseeing the development, training, certification, and management of a professional workforce supporting security cooperation programs and activities. As part of this effort, Ms. Abercrombie will oversee the inauguration of a new Security Cooperation University in 2019.

Ms. Abercrombie is a career member of the Senior Executive Service with more than a decade of service in the Office of Secretary of Defense. She recently concluded a one-year temporary detail assignment with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she conducted research and analysis on regional security dynamics in Asia, with a particular focus on U.S.-India defense ties.

From June 2016-July 2017, she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. In that role she served as the principal advisor to senior Department leadership for all policy matters pertaining to development and implementation of defense strategies and plans for the region. She was responsible for managing the bilateral security relationships with nations of that region and guiding Department of Defense engagement with regional multilateral institutions. Previously, Ms. Abercrombie was the Principal Director for East Asia Policy, from July 2014-June 2016, advising senior Department leadership in the formulation and implementation of defense policy for China, Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. From 2013-2014, she served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Other prior positions include Director for South Asia, Human Capital Strategy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Policy, Defense Institution Building Coordinator, and Senior Country Director for India. She joined the Department as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2003. Prior to entering government, Ms. Abercrombie was a Program Officer for Eurasia with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Ms. Abercrombie holds a Master's degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and a BA from Dartmouth College. She is a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award (three times) and Department of State Meritorious Honor Award.