Oni K. Blair, a career Foreign Service Officer, is currently the Director of the Office Near Eastern Affairs in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights & Labor at the U.S. Department of State. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Oni was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, where she taught courses on diplomacy and humanitarian assistance. Prior to her work at the Institute, Oni covered the Middle East and North Africa as a special assistant to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns. She managed $150 million in humanitarian assistance as the Refugee Assistance Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. She has also served as a staff assistant in Office of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, a team leader in the Office of Pakistan Affairs, and in assignments at the U.S. Embassies in Pakistan and Jordan.
Outside of her work at the State Department, Oni is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Atlas Corps and a member of the Young Founders’ Steering Committee for the National Archives. She has also participated in the American Council on Germany’s Young Leaders’ Conference in Berlin, the International Career Advancement Program at the Aspen Institute, the Georgetown Leadership Seminar in Washington, and delivered the keynote address at the National Council for International Visitors’ annual workshop. Oni is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Oni earned a Bachelor of Arts at Texas A&M University and a Master in Public Policy at Harvard University. She and her husband, Chris Hensman, have a daughter.