Afreen Akhter holds the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary within the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) with a portfolio covering Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and the Maldives, as well as the Office of Security and Transnational Affairs. Prior to this role, Ms. Akhter served as a Senior Advisor to SCA Assistant Secretary Don Lu. Her previous professional experience includes serving as the National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser to U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen. She has also held various positions, including assignments at the State Department’s Office of Pakistan Affairs, the Political-Military Affairs Bureau, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and the National Security Council.
Ms. Akhter’s distinguished career includes her tenure as a Presidential Management Fellow and her role as a Fulbright Scholar in Kingston, Jamaica. She originates from Oak Brook, Illinois. Ms. Akhter holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and earned her B.A. from Brown University.