June Fellows Breakfast with Three U.S. Ambassadors
June 22nd, 2023
*This event is only open to 2022-2023 Fellows.
The World Affairs Council Fellows Program offers a unique professional development opportunity to a small group of greater Seattle's business and community leaders. The Fellows convene monthly for breakfast discussions with carefully selected high-caliber international experts who offer unparalleled insight into current global issues, in addition to meeting throughout the year for additional Council events and dedicated networking opportunities.
About Our Speakers
Ambassador Yohannes Abraham (ASEAN)
Yohannes Abraham was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on September 19, 2022.
Prior to assuming this position, Abraham served as Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (NSC). In this role, he oversaw NSC operations, the facilitation of the interagency national security policy process, the White House Situation Room, and planning for President Biden’s diplomatic engagements at home and abroad.
Before joining the NSC, Abraham was the Executive Director of the Biden-Harris Transition. Reporting to Transition Co-Chairs Jeff Zients and Senator Ted Kaufman, Abraham was responsible for all aspects of transition planning and execution for the incoming administration. This included managing the national security, economic, and domestic policy planning teams, as well the personnel process, including Cabinet selection.
Abraham served in several White House roles during the Obama-Biden Administration, including as Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council and as Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. Abraham has also worked in the Vanguard Group’s global investment unit and taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
A native of Springfield, Virginia, Abraham holds a BA from Yale College and an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School.
Ambassador Brian D. McFeeters (Malaysia)
Brian D. McFeeters has served as U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia since February 26, 2021. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Brian previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Counselor to the Secretary of State, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs in Washington. Ambassador McFeeters has spent half of his 30-year Foreign Service career focused on the Southeast Asia region, including as Deputy Chief of Mission of U.S. Mission Indonesia, as Political Counselor at U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, and as Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Maritime Southeast Asia Affairs.
Ambassador McFeeters’ other assignments include service as the Economic Minister Counselor of the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, Economic Minister Counselor for U.S. Embassy Baghdad, and Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Ambassador McFeeters previously served in the U.S. Air Force, attaining the rank of Captain.
Ambassador McFeeters was awarded B.A. and B.S. degrees from the University of Notre Dame, an M.S. from the University of New Mexico, and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His foreign languages include Malaysian, Indonesian, French, Spanish, and German.
Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson (The Philippines)
Ambassador MaryKay Loss Carlson was nominated by President Biden on February 4 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of the Philippines. She was confirmed by the Senate on May 5. Ambassador Carlson is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor.
She previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prior to her assignment to Argentina, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires in New Delhi, India, and held the position of Principal Deputy Executive Secretary for the Secretary of State in Washington, D.C. A Foreign Service officer since 1985, she has served at U.S. Diplomatic Missions in China (twice), Ukraine, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. Her domestic assignments include Director of the Secretary’s Executive Secretariat Staff and Deputy Director of Korean Affairs.
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Ambassador Carlson received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and International Studies from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She holds Master’s Degrees from Georgetown University (International Relations) and the National War College (National Security Studies). She is married to retired Foreign Service officer Aubrey Carlson, and they have two daughters.