Oni K. Blair

Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow, U.S. Department of State

A career Foreign Service Officer, Oni K. Blair has worked extensively on issues across the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan. Prior to her work at the Institute, Oni covered the Middle East and North Africa as a special assistant to Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns.  She managed $150 million in humanitarian assistance as the Refugee Assistance Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.  She has also worked as a staff assistant in Office of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, a team leader for humanitarian and development issues in the Office of Pakistan Affairs, and in assignments at the U.S. Embassies in Pakistan and Jordan.

Outside of her work at the State Department, Oni is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Atlas Corps, a non-profit organization that addresses critical social issues through fellowships for skilled professionals in the United States and abroad, and a member of the Young Founders’ Steering Committee for the National Archives.  In 2013, Oni participated in the American Council on Germany’s Young Leaders’ Conference in Berlin, the International Career Advancement Program at the Aspen Institute, and the Georgetown Leadership Seminar in Washington.

Oni earned a Bachelor of Arts at Texas A&M University and a Master in Public Policy at Harvard University.  She is married to Foreign Service Officer Chris Hensman.

She is currently the Office Director in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and the U.S. Department of State.