assignment as head of public affairs at the U.S. embassy in Mozambique. Savage has won six awards since 2005 at the State Department — accolades that foreshadowed her extraordinary path.
Prior to her NSC position, during Obama's "reset" of relations with Russia, Savage was a political-military affairs and foreign policy officer for the U.S. Department of State's Russia Desk. Her work to implement air and ground transit routes through Russia to Afghanistan has permitted the travel of more than 1,700 flights carrying more than 277,000 troops.
From July 2007 to July 2009, Savage helped keep operations running during the threatened closure of the U.S. embassy in Minsk after tensions flared between the United States and Belarus. As the public affairs officer and consul, she led a large, local staff, despite a 90 percent reduction of American personnel at the embassy, and she temporarily served as chargé d'affaires.
When Savage heads to Mozambique in August, Africa will be a new continent for her. After her year at the NSC, she hopes to bring a more holistic perspective to embassy challenges. While some issues will be similar to her European assignments, Savage says she now has a broader perspective about other agencies' capabilities, which will be helpful when dealing with U.S. programming in education and combating HIV/AIDS and malaria.
When asked to return to campus to mentor students last year, the competent and calm Savage humbly offered practical advice and encouragement. She continues to keep in contact with Foreign Service hopefuls from UW-Madison.