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Rachel M. Poynter

Guest Speaker

Professional affiliation

Deputy Assistant Secretary for North America, Department of State

Full Biography

Rachel Poynter, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for North America, covering the bilateral relationships with Mexico and Canada. She most recently served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination in the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau, where she coordinated the Bureau’s work on regional and global issues, foreign assistance planning in Latin America and the Caribbean, congressional affairs and hemispheric strategy development.

Ms. Poynter previously served as the Director of the Office of Mexican Affairs and the Department’s U.S.-Mexico Border Coordinator. She was the Director for North American Affairs at the National Security Council from 2013-14, a portfolio that included preparing the President for his participation in the North American Leaders Summit. Ms. Poynter spent five years working in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and was a Brookings Fellow with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, where she worked on trade issues.

She has a Master of Public Affairs and a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies, both from the University of Texas at Austin.