Vicki Huddleston is a visiting fellow at Brookings Institution and a commentator for NBC Universal. She recently completed 15 months as the acting American ambassador in Ethiopia. She has served as ambassador to Mali and Madagascar and as deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa. She served as chief of mission at the United States Interests Section in Havana and as director and deputy director of Cuban Affairs at the Department of State.
Huddleston was instrumental in formulating American policy toward Ethiopia and Somalia by initiating dialogue between government and opposition parties. In Mali she advocated countering terrorist movements in the Sahara by helping isolated villagers build wells, schools, and clinics. In Madagascar her environmental programs resulted in the establishment of Masuelo National Park, and she formulated policies that contributed to the peace settlement in Sierra Leone. As deputy chief of mission in Haiti she acted as operational liaison during the 1994 deployment of U.S. and multinational forces. While on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) in the 1980s, Huddleston drafted the principal legislation regulating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Upon retiring, Huddleston spent a semester as a fellow at the Institute of Politics of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has been a featured speaker at Harvardís Rockefeller and Kennedy Centers and the Commonwealth Club. She has also published opinion pieces and short stories in The Washington Times, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The Dallas Morning News.
Huddleston has an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA from the University of Colorado. She has received the Department of Stateís Distinguished Honor Award, the Presidentís Meritorious Service Award, and the Secretaryís Career Achievement Award.