Date: 03/01/2012 Description: Women's History Month 2012: Isabel Rioja-Scott - State Dept Image Isabel has been serving in U.S. Embassy Tunis as the commercial attaché since March 2009. In addition to assisting U.S. companies trade with and invest in Tunisia, she covers energy, civil aviation, bilateral trade, and investment. Since her arrival, Isabel has been active in promoting strengthened bilateral commercial ties through her work on franchising legislation, the Trade Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), U.S. company advocacy, and outreach to the Tunisian business community. Isabel is slated to serve in Mexico City as lead on trade issues in the summer of 2012.

Isabel joined the Foreign Service in 2002 and served previously as the Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University, where she researched Latin American economic policy and taught a course on U.S.-Venezuela foreign relations. Before that, she was a watch officer in the State Department Operations Center, a 24-hour crisis management office working closely with former Secretary Condoleezza Rice and other senior State Department principals.

She has also served as economic officer in Caracas, Venezuela, where she reported on Venezuelan economic policy, petro-diplomacy, land expropriations, and other economic issues such as intellectual property, trade, and aviation. Isabel has also served consular officer in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and in Washington, DC in the Office of Cuban Affairs.

Isabel was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, but moved to Tucson, Arizona at an early age. She holds a B.A. with honors in international relations and history from the University of Pennsylvania, and also studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked as an insurance broker. She is fluent in Spanish and speaks French.