A CISB Graduate’s Career in the State Department

Thursday, November 19, 2020
5:30 p.m., Zoom meeting
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Aysa Miller II

Aysa Miller is a career diplomat at the U.S. Department of State. He currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary State for African Affairs who leads all aspects of U.S. diplomatic engagement in sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, Aysa served as the Commercial Attaché at U.S. Embassy Tunis where he oversaw bilateral trade and investment issues, and assisted American companies do business in Tunisia. Previously, he served as the Director for African Affairs in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) within the Executive Office of the President. Prior to that, he served as the Economic and Commercial Officer at U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. Fluent in five languages (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish), Aysa has more than 15 years of experience in foreign policy, and has represented the U.S. Government in Brazil, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia.

At USTR, Aysa managed U.S, trade and investment policy with Central and the Horn of Africa. As Africa becomes the next frontier for production, he worked to increase African governments’ participation in the African Growth and Opportunity Act which is a unilateral trade preference that allows value-added goods produced in sub-Saharan Africa to enter the United States duty free.

While in Sudan, he expanded the USG relationship with the Sudanese business community in all sectors; and worked with the Government of Sudan on a wide range of economic issues including debt relief, energy, macroeconomic policies, and reported on Sudan’s external relationship with its Arab neighbors. Aysa supported U.S. commercial interests in agriculture, gum Arabic, education and technology. He was also the principal lead for the U.S. Mission in monitoring the Sudanese Government’s role within the dispute between the Egyptian and Ethiopian Governments concerning the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Aysa is recognized for the integral role he played in what led to the eventual lifting of USG sanctions on Sudan in December 2016.

Prior to Sudan, Aysa served as Vice Consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil (2011-2013). During his tenure, he adjudicated non-immigrant visas and served as the chief liaison to the chamber of commerce in the city of Sao Jose dos Campos – home of Brazil’s aviation cluster. While serving in Brazil, he helped expand Major League Baseball’s little league program in the public school system in the state of Sao Paulo.

From 2009-2011, Aysa served as a staff assistant for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative. Prior to entering the Foreign Service, he served four years as an intelligence analyst and Arabic linguist for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Aysa Miller is a recipient of several awards and distinctions including the 2015 National Security Education Program Howard Baker Jr. Award, the Rotary Ambassadorship Scholarship, the Charles B. Rangel Fellowship, and several Superior Honor awards at the Department of State.

Aysa holds a BABA and Certificate of International Studies in Business, Arabic Track, from the University of Washington, and a Masters in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS).