Ambassador Makila James became the director of NDU's International Student Management Office (ISMO) in February 2016. She initially joined the NDU faculty in January 2016 as an assistant professor at the National War College. AMB James was nominated by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate in July 2012, and sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Swaziland in August 2012, a position she held until December 2015.
Prior to her nomination, AMB James served as the director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs at the US Department of State. From 2007 to 2009, she was the deputy director of the Office of Southern African Affairs. From 2006 to 2007, she was the principal officer of the Consulate General in Juba. Previously, AMB James was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff from 2003 to 2006. Earlier in her career, AMB James was a research fellow at Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. At the State Department, she has served as an international relations officer in the Office of International Organization Affairs; a desk officer in the Office of West African Affairs; and a watch officer in the Department's Operations Center. Her overseas assignments include postings as a political officer in Zimbabwe; a political/economics officer in Nigeria; and consular officer in Jamaica. AMB James received a B.A. from Cornell University, an M.S. in National Security Studies from National Defense University, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.