Our Leadership

Ambassador Susan Jacobs

Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor to the Secretary for Children’s Issues

Susan Jacobs is the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues. She was a Senior Policy Advisor in the Bureau of Consular Affairs and previously served as the Bureau’s liaison to the Department of Homeland Security. From 2000-2003 she was the United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Read More

Ambassador Jacobs Bio Continued…

From April 1998 to October 2000 she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Issues in the State Department's Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

Ambassador Jacobs joined the Foreign Service in 1974. Her early assignments included tours as Vice Consul in Caracas, deputy consul general in Tel Aviv, refugee officer in New Delhi, office director in the State Department's Citizens Emergency Center, and special assistant to the Ambassador in San Salvador.

In 1990 she returned to Washington, DC where she served as an office director in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs and then as a Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. In 1994 she was senior policy advisor to the Commission on Immigration Reform, and from 1995 to 1997 she was the U.S. Consul General in Bucharest. A high point of her Bucharest tour was serving as the coordinator for the July 1996 visit of First Lady Hillary Clinton. In 1997 she attended the Senior Seminar, a nine-month advanced professional development program designed for senior foreign policy officials in the United States Government.

Ambassador Jacobs graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she was a Regents Scholar, and later studied at Georgetown University Law School and the George Washington University. She has received numerous awards, including the Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award, its Superior Honor Award; and the Community Achievement Award in New Delhi. Ambassador Jacobs is married to Barry Jacobs, a retired Foreign Service Officer, who is an international policy consultant. They have three children and five wonderful grandchildren.

Beth Payne

Beth Payne, Director, Office of Children’s Issues

Beth A. Payne assumed her duties as the Director of the Office of Children's Issues on July 25, 2011. She is a career Foreign Service Officer who joined the U.S. State Department in 1993. Her previous assignments include postings at the U.S. Embassies in Senegal, Rwanda, Israel and Kuwait and most recently as the U.S. Consul General in Kolkata, India. In 2003, she opened the Office of the U.S. Consul in Baghdad, Iraq. Read More

Beth Payne Bio Continued…

Ms. Payne received a M.S. in National Security Studies from the National War College in 2008; a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law in 1988; and a B.S. in Special Education from Penn State University in 1985.

In 2003, she received the State Department’s Award for Heroism for saving the arm of a fellow Foreign Service Officer after a hotel bombing in Baghdad. She was also named the State Department’s Consular Officer of the Year in 2004 in recognition of her work in Iraq.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Payne worked as a staff attorney for the National District Attorneys' Association's National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse. Ms. Payne is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Tunisia, where she taught special education in the desert town of Kebili.