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Deputy Assistant Secretary of State J. Scott Carpenter of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, joined the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs on August 23, 2004, overseeing the Middle East Partnership Initiative. In 2006, he also was named coordinator for broader Middle East and North Africa initiatives.
Mr. Carpenter previously served in Baghdad, Iraq, as director of the Governance Group for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), appointed by Administrator L. Paul Bremer. There he helped guide the political transition and initiated a wide array of democracy initiatives. From May 2003 to July 2004, he served as a key advisor to the administrator, facilitating the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council and the first post-Saddam Hussein cabinet, the drafting and signing of Iraq's interim constitution, and the establishment of Iraq's interim government. He also presided over the design and implementation of the largest democratization effort in one country since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Prior to serving in Iraq, Mr. Carpenter served as deputy assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. In that capacity, he acted as the bureau's point person on a number of countries and regions of critical importance to U.S. democracy promotion and human rights policy. Among other responsibilities, he oversaw the bureau's activities related to the Middle East, China, Southeast Asia and was DRL's representative to the Colombia policy coordinating committee. He also served as Under Secretary Paula Dobriansky's representative on the interagency executive steering group on Iraq and co-chaired the democracy policy coordinating committee with the Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Directorate at the National Security Council.
Before joining the State Department, Mr. Carpenter worked with the International Republican Institute (IRI), a non-profit organization based in Washington that promotes democratic development worldwide. During his seven years at IRI, he established and served as co-director of IRI's Central and Eastern Europe regional office in Bratislava, Slovakia, overseeing programming in 10 countries from the Baltics to the Balkans, including Turkey.
He also worked on the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) desk at the International Trade Agency (ITA), where his focus was on implementation issues related to financial services. On Capitol Hill, he worked as a press secretary for Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and as a legislative assistant to Congressman Rick Santorum (R-PA).
Mr. Carpenter holds a graduate degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in economics and European studies. He received undergraduate degrees in political science and history from Hope College in Michigan.