Biden appoints crisis management czar Elizabeth M. Allen as Assistant Secretary of State for Global Public Affairs amid Afghanistan emergency

U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday announced that he has appointed Elizabeth M. Allen, a crisis management czar, to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for Global Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

The appointment comes as Mr. Biden manages the first major crisis of his seven-month-old presidency over the difficult withdrawal from Afghanistan after a 20-year-long war.

Liz Allen is a partner at strategic communications and public affairs firm Finsbury Glover Hering (FGH), where she specializes in message and campaign strategy, crisis management, and leadership communications, the White House said in a statement announcing her appointment.

Prior to FGH, Allen served in the Obama-Biden Administration for eight years, most recently as White House Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama.

She also served as White House Director of Message Planning and Deputy Director of Communications to then-Vice President Joe Biden.

In 2020, Allen took a leave of absence from FGH to serve as Vice President Kamala Harris’s Communications Director on the Biden-Harris presidential campaign.

Allen previously served at the U.S. Department of State as Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, focusing on U.S. public diplomacy efforts, and in positions in the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement and Office of Global Women’s Issues.

A native of Buffalo, New York, she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Political Science from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Geneseo, where she returned to give the commencement address in 2016.

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