Kamala Lakhdhir was nominated to be the U.S. ambassador to Malaysia on June 16, 2016 and confirmed by the full Senate on December 10, 2016.
Ambassador Lakhdhir most recently served as the Executive Assistant to Under Secretary for Political Affairs from November 2011 until October 2015. From 2009-2011, Ambassador Lakhdhir was the U.S. Consul General in Northern Ireland.
Ambassador Lakhdhir joined the Foreign Service in 1991, serving at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and then at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Returning to Washington, Ambassador Lakhdhir was assigned to the Secretary of State’s Secretariat, advancing the Secretary’s foreign travel. From 1998 through 2000, she was the deputy director of the Taiwan Coordination Staff and then held a one year fellowship working for Congressman Doug Bereuter (R-NE) on the staff of the House Subcommittee on Asia and the House Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade.
From 2001-2005, Ambassador Lakhdhir was posted to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and then was Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2005-2006). From 2007-2009, Ms. Lakhdhir was the director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, which is responsible for U.S. relations with the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, and Timor-Leste.
Ambassador Lakhdhir graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1986 and received a Master’s degree from the National War College in 2007. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she grew up in Brooklyn and Connecticut.