Associate Vice President
Kate Fernandez joined The Cohen Group after serving in a variety of senior policy roles during a decade of government service.
Most recently, as the State Department’s Deputy Senior Advisor on Foreign Fighters, Ms. Fernandez helped conceive and implement a diplomatic campaign to curb the flow of terrorists to and from the conflict in Iraq and Syria and served as the U.S. representative in the global ISIL coalition's forum on foreign fighters.
Prior to that, as Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, Ms. Fernandez supported the Deputy Secretary’s efforts to advance and shape the Administration’s foreign policy agenda and lead State Department personnel. She advised the Deputy Secretary on the full range of national security issues, including counterterrorism operations, the Ebola crisis, and Ukraine. Previously, as Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary Burns, she advanced the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership and marshaled U.S. and World Bank support for the CASA-1000 project, a regional electricity grid designed to connect the South and Central Asian energy markets. She also advised the Deputy Secretary on cases related to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
As Special Assistant to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Marc Grossman, Ms. Fernandez helped to reset U.S. relations with Pakistan, developed policies to advance regional economic integration, and supported efforts to promote a peace process in Afghanistan. Ms. Fernandez served previously in a variety of roles related to South Asia and the Middle East, and as a Special Assistant to numerous senior officials.
Ms. Fernandez was awarded the Secretary of State Distinguished Honor Award in 2015 for her contributions to securing the freedom of Sergeant Beau Bergdahl, the only American serviceman held by hostile forces in the Afghan war. She was a nine-time recipient of the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University, where she was a varsity diver. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.