Marcia Bernicat
Director General of the Foreign Service
Assumed office
June 6, 2022
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byCarol Z. Perez
Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
In office
August 6, 2021 – September 28, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byJonathan M. Moore
Succeeded byMonica Medina
Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
In office
January 20, 2021 – August 5, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byKeith J. Krach
Succeeded byJose W. Fernandez
United States Ambassador to Bangladesh
In office
February 4, 2015 – November 2, 2018
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byDan Mozena
Succeeded byEarl R. Miller
United States Ambassador to Senegal
United States Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau
In office
August 6, 2008 – July 15, 2011
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded byJanice L. Jacobs
Succeeded byLewis Lukens
Personal details
Born1953 (age 70–71)
SpouseOlivier Bernicat
EducationLafayette College (BA)
Georgetown University (MS)

Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat (born 1953) is an American diplomat who is the current Director General of the Foreign Service. She is a former United States Ambassador to Bangladesh.[1] She served as Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2008 to 2011. From January 1, 2019, to April 3, 2020, she was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the Department of State.[2][3]

Early life and education

Bernicat was born in 1953.[4] She grew up in Tinton Falls, New Jersey and graduated from Monmouth Regional High School.[5] In 1975 she earned a B.A. from Lafayette College, where she majored in history.[6] Through work with her mentor and thesis advisor, she became particularly interested in the League of Nations and the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. She earned an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1980.[7][8][9]


Bernicat began her career working in a managerial position at Procter & Gamble in Staten Island, New York.[4]

In 1982, Bernicat began her career as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. embassy in Bamako, the capital of Mali. She served as consular officer at the U.S. consulate general in Marseille, France from 1984 to 1986. From 1986 to 1989 she held position in the U.S., but successive moves after that had her assigned in India, Morocco, Malawi and Barbados. From 2006 to 2008 she was office director for several Asian countries. In that role she was engaged in negotiations to supply India with non-military nuclear materials. She was nominated by George W. Bush in 2008 to be U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.[8]

From 2012 to 2014 Bernicat served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State. In 2014 she was nominated and confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh. She spoke with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about Bangladesh, noting that it is the eighth largest country in the world by population and third largest Muslim majority nation. Bangladesh, she observed, is known for traditions that are moderate and pluralistic.[10]

Biden administration

On April 15, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Bernicat to serve as the Director General of the Foreign Service.[11] On April 28, 2021, her nomination was sent to the Senate.[12] On September 15, 2021, a hearing on her nomination was held before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.[13] On October 19, 2021, her nomination was reported favorably out of committee.[14] On May 26, 2022, the United States Senate confirmed her nomination by a 82-10 vote.[15] She began service on May 31, 2022,[16] and was sworn in by Deputy Secretary Brian P. McKeon on June 6, 2022.[17]


Bernicat speaks French, Hindi and Russian.[8] She is married to Olivier Bernicat and they have two children.[6][18]


  1. ^ "New US ambassador-designate arrives in Dhaka". 19 November 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  2. ^ "Marcia Bernicat".
  3. ^ "Marcia Bernicat Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs". US Department of State. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat (1953–), United States Department of State, Office of the Historian. Accessed September 14, 2022
  5. ^ Seligman, Kathy. "Life in Foreign Service calls Tinton Falls woman", Asbury Park Press, October 6, 1981. Accessed September 14, 2022, via "Bloom, a graduate of Monmouth Regional High School, was a State Department intern at the American Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, then, and the job was her first opportunity to travel."
  6. ^ a b Madame Ambassador, Lafayette Magazine, Spring 2011. Accessed September 14, 2022.
  7. ^ U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh U.S. Department of State, accessed March 6, 2016
  8. ^ a b c Bernicat, Marcia U.S. Department of State, accessed March 6, 2016
  9. ^ "Marcia Bernicat (MSFS'80) becomes Director General of the Foreign Service". Georgetown University. Retrieved 2022-12-20.
  10. ^ Bernicat: Jan 5 election was undeniably flawed Dhaka Tribune, July 19, 2014
  11. ^ "President Biden Announces His Intent to Nominate Key Administration Leaders in the State Department". The White House. 2021-04-15. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  12. ^ "Nominations Sent to the Senate". The White House. 2021-04-28. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  13. ^ "PN492 - Nomination of Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat for Department of State, 117th Congress (2021-2022)". 2021-10-19. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
  14. ^ "SFRC APPROVES 33 CRITICAL FOREIGN POLICY NOMINATIONS" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. October 19, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  15. ^ "On the Nomination (Confirmation: Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, of New Jersey, to be Director General of the Foreign Service)". US Senate. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Marcia S. Bernicat". United States Department of State. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  17. ^ McKeon, Brian P. [@DepSecStateMR] (June 6, 2022). "Today I was honored to swear in Ambassador Bernicat as @StateDG of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent!" (Tweet). Retrieved 2022-06-09 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Congressional record Congress, May 20, 2008
Diplomatic posts Preceded byDan Mozena United States Ambassador to Bangladesh 2015–2018 Succeeded byEarl R. Miller