Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Tony Fernandes, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, is Director of the Multilateral Trade Affairs Office in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. His office is responsible for advancing U.S. interests in trade policy. Led by his passion for helping others, Tony joined the Foreign Service in 1997 as an Economic Officer.
Upon reflection Tony notes, “I feel so blessed for the opportunities I have had as a Foreign Service Officer. The work we do at the State Department has a real impact on people’s lives. The best parts of my career have been engaging directly with people from other countries and being exposed to other cultures. I have been fortunate to work in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, and I know at the State Department we can improve the lives of our fellow citizens and others around the world.”
Prior to the Foreign Service, Tony was a Legislative Assistant in the Office of former Congressman Joseph Kennedy. Tony has received several Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards, as well as the Recording Industry Association of America Award for Excellence for promoting the arts and the protection of intellectual property in Nigeria. In June 2014, Tony graduated from the National War College with a M.A. in National Security Strategy, and he holds a B.A. from Boston College and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law.
Tony is a member of the Bar in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a former Term Member in the Council of Foreign Relations, and an International Career Advancement Program Fellow. He is also a member of the American Foreign Service Association. Tony speaks Turkish, Russian, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese. His other assignments include positions in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Turkey, Nigeria, Russia, Canada and China.
Tony credits the support from mentors like Ambassador Ruth Davis and Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. for helping with his success and is committed to paying it forward. He is dedicated to giving back and serves as a mentor to many entry-level and mid-level officers. Tony’s family immigrated to Massachusetts from the former Portuguese African colony of Cabo Verde and he spent his formative years on Cape Cod. Tony’s wife, Cheryl Fernandes, is also in the Foreign Service, and they have a daughter and a son.