Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu heading a U.S. delegation is visiting Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan from May 23-27

The U.S. Department of State says the purpose of the visit is for the delegation to strengthen U.S. relations with the region and advance collaborative efforts to create a more connected, prosperous, and secure Central Asia.

The delegation is reportedly comprised of the National Security Council’s Senior Director for Russia and Central Asia Eric Green, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia Rebecca Zimmerman, U.S. Agency for International Development Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia Anjali Kaur, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Naz El-Khatib.

In Kyrgyzstan, the delegation will meet with senior Kyrgyz officials, civil society, and economic leaders to find ways in which the United States can better support shared values, local culture, and economic development.

In Uzbekistan, the delegation will meet with Uzbek government officials, business leaders, and civil society to discuss strengthening bilateral economic partnership, shared values, and U.S. support for women’s empowerment.

Assistant Secretary Lu and the accompanying delegation will then travel to Tajikistan to meet with senior officials and participate in U.S.-Tajikistan Annual Bilateral Consultations to promote economic ties and strengthen security cooperation.

In Tajikistan, Assistant Secretary Lu will also meet with civil society to discuss humanitarian assistance and other support for Afghan refugees, human rights, and joint initiatives on food security and the role of women in society.

In Kazakhstan, the delegation will meet with senior Kazakhstani officials and civil society leaders to discuss Kazakhstan’s reform agenda, efforts to strengthen human rights protections, and advance women’s empowerment.

Donald Lu became Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021.  Prior to this assignment, Assistant Secretary Lu served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2018 to 2021 and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Albania from 2015-2018.  Before his posting in Albania, Assistant Secretary Lu worked on the Ebola crisis in West Africa as the Deputy Coordinator for Ebola Response in the Department of State.  Mr. Lu is a Foreign Service Officer with more than 30 years of U.S. government service.

He graduated from Princeton University with both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international relations.  He speaks Albanian, Russian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Urdu, Hindi, and West African Krio.