an Explore Mars Event

May 16-18, 2023

The National Academy of Sciences Building

Washington D.C.

Valda Vikmanis-Keller

U.S. State Department | Director, Office of Space Affairs, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

Ms. Vikmanis Keller joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 1999 and served her first tour in Okinawa, Japan as a consular officer with subsequent tours in the EUR bureau.  She converted to the Civil Service in 2008 and worked in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) as the head of the Africa Team and then as the Partnership and Outreach Coordinator for INL’s Office of Criminal Justice Assistance and Partnership. Ms. Vikmanis Keller joined the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) in 2014 as the Director of Human Resources & Administration and assumed the role of Executive Director in 2015.  In this capacity she was responsible for CSO’s human resources, finance, information technology, general services, and administrative functions.  From January 2017 until April 2018, she was CSO’s Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for the EX office as well as the Office of Partnerships, Strategy, and Communications.  Ms. Vikmanis Keller returned to INL in October 2018 as the Division Director of the Technical Advisory Division (TAD) in the larger Knowledge Management office, providing INL with technical expertise through a network of in-house and external subject matter experts and partners supporting innovative solutions to combat transnational crime and illicit drugs and counter current and emerging threats.  Most recently Ms. Vikmanis Keller served as the Chief of Staff in the Department’s Bureau of Budget and Planning.  She joined the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) in August 2021 as the Director of the Space Affairs office.

Ms. Vikmanis Keller received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and her JD degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.