Heather Variava serves as the U.S. Consul General in Surabaya, Indonesia, where she leads the Consulate General in diplomatic engagement with eastern Indonesia, a region covering 12 provinces and over a third of Indonesia’s population. Previously, Ms. Variava served as the Director of the Office of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. A member of the U.S. Foreign Service since 1996, Ms. Variava has worked overseas in Mumbai, India; Port Louis, Mauritius; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Dhaka, Bangladesh. In Washington, she also has served at the State Department Operations Center and on the Thailand desk.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Variava worked as a newspaper reporter in Waterville, Maine. Raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she received an undergraduate degree in international relations from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and, with a Rotary Graduate Scholarship, received a master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. In 2012, Ms. Variava received a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College in Washington, DC, and in 2014 she completed a fellowship in executive leadership with the International Women’s Forum (IWF). Her husband also works for the State Department, and the couple has two sons.