Heather Variava has been appointed as the next Chargé d’Affaires ad interim (CDA a.i.) at the United States Embassy in the Philippines, replacing previous Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) John Law.
In the absence of an ambassador, a CDA serves as the official representative of the country in the host nation, representing the President of the United States, the U.S. Embassy said in an issued statement Friday.
“It is a privilege and an honor to assume charge of our large and busy Mission in the Philippines. I look forward to strengthening the broad and deep relationships we have here. While we are not yet free of the pandemic, I am committed to partnering with the government and people of the Philippines to face challenges together,” said Variava, who will be serving in Manila for the next three years.
Variava, a member of the US Foreign Service since 1996, oversaw the US Embassy in Indonesia and its consulates during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and supported the US strategic relationship there as CDA and DCM.
Before her posting at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, she was the U.S. Consul General in Surabaya, Indonesia, from 2015 to 2018.
She also served as the Director of the Office of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Bhutan in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. She has worked in Mumbai, India; Port Louis, Mauritius; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Variava completed a fellowship in executive leadership with the International Women’s Forum in 2014 and earned a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College in Washington, D.C. in 2012. She also has degrees in journalism, from the University of Missouri, and in international relations, from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She and her husband have two sons.