Michelle Gavin most recently served as a special assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa on the National Security staff. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Gavin was an Adjunct Fellow for Africa and an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Before joining CFR, Ms. Gavin served as legislative director to U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO). She had previously spent six years serving as the primary foreign policy adviser to Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), where she worked on a broad range of initiatives, including the creation of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and the reform of U.S. policy relating to HIV/AIDS treatment abroad. She has also served as the staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on African Affairs. Ms. Gavin earned an MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
Ambassador Gavin was confirmed by the Senate on April 14, 2011.