Marie Louise Yovanovitch

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Marie Louise Yovanovitch

Also Known As: "Masha"
Birthplace: Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Michel Yovanovitch and Nadia Yovanovitch
Sister of Private

Managed by: Renee Stern Steinig
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Marie Louise Yovanovitch

Born in Canada, Marie Yovanovitch moved to Connecticut when she was three, and became a naturalized American citizen at age 18. She grew up speaking Russian.

Her paternal grandparents were of Russian-Serbian origin. Her mother was born in Germany to a Russian father and a German mother.

Yovanovitch is a graduate of Kent School, a private boarding school in Connecticut where her father taught, and Princeton University, where she earned a B.A. in History and Russian Studies in 1980. She studied at the Pushkin Institute (1980) and was awarded an M.S. from the National Defense University's National War College in 2001.

A career diplomat, Yovanovitch joined the U.S. foreign service in 1986. Following assignments in Ottawa, Moscow, London, and Mogadishu, she served as

- Deputy Director of the Russian Desk in the U.S. Department of State (May 1998 to May 2000) - Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine (August 2001 to June 2004) - Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (August 2004 to May 2005) - U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (November 2004 to Feb 2008) - U.S. Ambassador to Armenia (August 2008 to June 2011) - U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (August 2016 to May 2019)

Her service in Ukraine ended when she was recalled by the Trump administration -- reportedly due to her efforts obstruct Trump's efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden. On October 11, 2019, Yovanovitch gave a closed-door testimony before the House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence. Yovanovitch publicly released a ten-page opening statement to the testimony. In that statement, she wrote:

"Understanding Ukraine’s recent history, including the significant tension between those who seek to transform the country and those who wish to continue profiting from the old ways, is of critical importance to understanding the events you asked me here today to describe. Many of those events—and the false narratives that emerged from them—resulted from an unfortunate alliance between Ukrainians who continue to operate within a corrupt system, and Americans who either did not understand that corrupt system, or who may have chosen, for their own purposes, to ignore it."

After her recall as Ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch became a diplomat in residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.

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Marie Louise Yovanovitch's Timeline

November 11, 1958
Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada