Elizabeth "Betsy" Whitaker
- School of Media and Public Affairs
805 21st Street, NW
Washington , District Of Columbia 20052
Born in Buffalo, New York, Ms. Whitaker received her BA (in history) and MS (in education) from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. She taught public school for seven years before joining the U.S. Foreign Service as a public diplomacy officer in 1984. Her overseas tours included Portugal, Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua. Her domestic tours included Director of Public Diplomacy for the Western Hemisphere, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Canada and Mexico. Ms. Whitaker retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 at the rank of Minister Counselor, and went to work briefly for a division of L-3 Communications. She was invited to return to the Department of State in 2009 to serve as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy, and remained in that capacity until 2012. Since then, she has worked part-time at the Department of State, and taught at the graduate level at George Washington University (2012 to the present) and Georgetown University (2013 to the present).
Ms. Whitaker has been married to Kevin Whitaker, a career Senior Foreign Service Officer, for over twenty years. They have a son, Daniel, who is in his second year of studies at the Virginia Military Institute.
SMPA 6275 Public Diplomacy