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Virtual Town Hall with Deputy Secretary of State Richard R. Verma
Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. ET (Virtual)
February 8, 2024

Program Overview

Deputy Secretary of State Richard R. Verma, will host a virtual town hall with Locally Employed (LE) Staff and Foreign Service Nationals to discuss priorities for the year ahead and share updates on FSN/LE Staff initiatives.  

The Deputy Secretary invites all LE Staff, FSNs and Department employees to join the discussion on February 27, at 8:30 a.m. ET.  The town hall will be moderated by Director General Marcia S. Bernicat.


Richard R. Verma

Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources

Richard R. Verma serves as the Deputy Secretary of State for Management & Resources. In this role, he acts as the Chief Operating Officer of the Department, and leads the Department’s efforts on modernization, foreign assistance, and a wide range of workforce and strategic issues. Deputy Secretary Verma previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India, where he led one of the largest U.S. diplomatic missions and championed historic progress in bilateral ties. He is also a former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs and the former National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader. Deputy Secretary Verma has also had a distinguished career in the private sector, most recently serving as the Chief Legal Officer and Head of Global Public Policy for Mastercard. He is a former partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, and the Vice Chairman of The Asia Group, a global consulting firm. He also served on the T. Rowe Price corporate board of directors. Deputy Secretary Verma is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and the recipient of numerous military awards and civilian decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award. He is also the recipient of the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and the Chief Justice Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award. Deputy Secretary Verma was a member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Commission, and the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He has served on a number of non-profit boards, including the Ford Foundation, Lehigh University, and the National Endowment for Democracy. Deputy Secretary Verma was a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and he holds multiple academic degrees, including his doctorate (Ph.D.) from Georgetown University and his law degree (J.D.) from American University.


Marcia S. Bernicat (Moderator)

Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent, Bureau of Global Talent Management

Marcia Bernicat, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is currently the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent. Ambassador Bernicat previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) and concurrently as the Senior Official for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment (E) from January-August 2021. She was a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for E from 2020-2021 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in OES from 2019-2020. She served as Ambassador to Bangladesh from 2015-2018 and to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2008-2011. Ms. Bernicat previously served domestically in the Department of State as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources; Office Director for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan; Senior-Level Director and Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources; Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead and Watch Officer in the Department’s Operations Center. She was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bridgetown, Barbados and Lilongwe, Malawi and Principal Officer in Casablanca, Morocco. Ms. Bernicat’s other overseas assignments include New Delhi, India; Marseille, France and Bamako, Mali. She is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award and numerous other Department awards. A native of New Jersey, Marcia Bernicat received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Lafayette College and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service by Lafayette College. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Bernicat worked for the Procter and Gamble Manufacturing Company. Her languages are French, Hindi and Russian.