Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs
MPA, Class of 2006
Fatema Z. Sumar is the Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America in the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Department of Compact Operations. She oversees all MCC compacts within this geographic portfolio.
Previously, Ms. Sumar was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian (SCA) Affairs responsible for regional affairs. She led the department’s New Silk Road and Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor initiatives focusing on expanding Asian economic connectivity through regional energy markets, trade and transport facilitation, customs and borders harmonization, and people-to-people linkages. She also managed the SCA Bureau's efforts on foreign assistance and development, security assistance, strategic planning, environmental issues, and gender.
Ms. Sumar joined the State Department from the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she served as a Senior Professional Staff Member for then-Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), covering South and Central Asia and global Muslim engagement issues. She authored several high-profile committee reports on Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Central Asia and worked extensively on foreign assistance oversight, including legislation tripling U.S. civilian assistance to Pakistan.
Prior to her work for the Committee, Ms. Sumar was a Presidential Management Fellow where she served at the State Department as the Regional Central Asia and Tajikistan Desk Officer, as the Economics/Commercial Officer at U.S. Embassy Kabul in Afghanistan, and as a Congressional Fellow for Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA). Before working in government, she was with the American Civil Liberties Union where she focused on drug policy and racial justice issues.
Ms. Sumar has a MPA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a BA in Government from Cornell University. She studied abroad at the American University in Cairo. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of the Truman National Security Project. She is married and the mother of three girls.