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Paul Sutphin, Director

Paul Sutphin

Paul Sutphin has served as Director for the Middle East Partnership Initiative since August 2013; he provides policy and operational guidance to MEPI’s Washington headquarters and to its two regional offices.  He was previously U.S. Consul General in Erbil, Iraq.  A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, his most recent Washington assignment prior to MEPI was as Director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.  He has served as Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, UAE, where he also served on the Board of Trustees of the American School of Dubai.  Other Washington postings include Deputy Director of the Office of Iraq/Political Affairs and Acting Director of the NEA Office of Regional Affairs, as well as positions dealing with Arab-Israeli peace issues, terrorism, and South Asia.  He has served overseas in the United Kingdom (as liaison with the UK government on all Middle Eastern and South Asian issues); as well as in Jerusalem, Denmark and Guyana.  

Born in Syracuse, NY, Paul is an honors graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and has a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the National War College in Washington, D.C.  He speaks Danish, French, and Arabic, and is a multiple recipient of the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award.  He is married to Catherine Kaputa Sutphin and has two children.

Catherine A. Bourgeois, Deputy Director

MEPI Deputy Director Catherine Bourgeois © State Department

Catherine A. Bourgeois is a Foreign Affairs Officer and the Deputy Director of MEPI. Before assuming this role, Ms. Bourgeois was the Division Chief for MEPI's Policy and Programming Division (February 2009 – August 2010) and oversaw the design and management of all of MEPI’s programmatic activities.  From June 2003 – February 2009, she was the head of MEPI’s Education Pillar, responsible for MEPI’s education initiatives and projects. 


Prior to joining MEPI, from September 2000 – June 2003, Ms. Bourgeois served as the Department of State’s Public Diplomacy Officer responsible for the Levant countries of the Middle East.  During this time, she also served as the Acting Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem (Summer 2001).   From June 1993 – September 2000, Ms. Bourgeois managed international science and technology policy and programs in the Middle East and North Africa, including bilateral programs funded at over $200 million, in the Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES).  While in OES, her portfolio also expanded to include environmental issues and the regions of Africa and South Asia.  Before this, Ms. Bourgeois worked as a clerical support staff person in the (former) Bureau of Communications and Information Technology.  Ms. Bourgeois began her State Department career in 1992.  During her career, she has been recognized with numerous performance-based awards.