Ambassador Nina Hachigian

Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State

Ambassador Nina Hachigian (ret) is the first U.S. Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy. In this role she seeks to bring benefits to, and learn from, local leaders in the United States, and connect them to counterparts around the world. 

Before rejoining the Department, Ambassador Hachigian served as the first Deputy Mayor for International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles. In that role, she oversaw efforts that sent underserved community college students on free, educational international trips; created a new public-private partnership to attract international business and non-profits, especially to underserved communities; prepared the City for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games and their legacy; hosted the Summit of the Americas; founded the first global gender equity city network; planned trade missions, and worked with international city networks to advance cutting-edge climate change programs, migrant integration, healthy cities and more.

From 2014 to 2017, Ambassador Hachigian served as the second U.S. Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). During her tenure, the United States established a strategic partnership with ASEAN, held the first Leaders’ Summit in the United States, launched a Presidential initiative on economic cooperation, established the U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy and grew the youth program to over 100,000 members. She was awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for her service. She is also a founder of WASA, Women Ambassadors Serving America and of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LC-WINS).

Earlier, Ambassador Hachigian was a Senior Fellow and a Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress focused on Asia policy and U.S.-China relations. Prior to that, Ambassador Hachigian was the director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy for four years. Ambassador Hachigian served on the staff of the National Security Council in the Clinton White House from 1998-1999. She is the editor of Debating China: The U.S. – China Relationship in Ten Conversations (Oxford University Press, 2014) and co-author of The Next American Century: How the U.S. Can Thrive as Other Powers Rise (Simon & Schuster, 2008).  She writes frequently about city and state diplomacy.