Paul Poletes joined the Foreign Service in 1998. Since then he has worked in Athens, Dhaka, Bishkek, Tirana, and Ashgabat. Paul has also worked twice in Washington, first as the Montenegro Desk Officer, and later as the Deputy Director for Central Asian Affairs, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. Most recently, Paul worked as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from 2014-2016. Paul has masters degrees from the National Defense University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Paul speaks Latvian, Russian, Albanian, and Greek. Paul is married to Katerina Poletes, a civil servant with the Department of State. They have two children.