Morgan Ortagus

Heather Nauert Spokesperson for the United States Department of State United States Department of State

Morgan Ortagus
Morgan D. Ortagus.jpg
Spokesperson for the United States Department of State
Assumed office
April 3, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
SecretaryMike Pompeo
Preceded byHeather Nauert
Personal details
Morgan Deann Ortagus

(1982-07-10) July 10, 1982 (age 38)
Auburndale, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Jonathan Weinberger
(m. 2013)
EducationFlorida Southern College (BS)
Johns Hopkins University (MA, MBA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service2014–present
UnitU.S. Navy Reserve

Morgan Deann Ortagus (born July 10, 1982) is an American government official serving as spokesperson for the United States Department of State since 2019.[1][2] She previously held several government positions including Deputy Treasury Attaché and Intelligence Analyst at the United States Department of the Treasury and Public Affairs Officer at USAID. Ortagus worked as national security contributor at Fox News prior to her appointment as State Department spokesperson.[1][2] She is also an officer in the United States Navy Reserve.[1][2]

Early life

Ortagus was born in Auburndale, Florida to Ronald E. and Denise C. Ortagus. Her father owned a cleanup and restoration company and her mother was an office manager. She grew up in Florida and won the Miss Florida Citrus title in 2003.[3]


In 2005, Ortagus graduated from Florida Southern College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. In 2013, Ortagus graduated from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) with a Master degree; Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and in 2009 Master of Arts in Government from JHU. Ortagus's research at JHU included work on counterinsurgency.[2][3]


Ortagus speaks in Germany in 2019

Political campaigns

In 2006, Ortagus worked as press secretary on former Deputy National Security Advisor K. T. McFarland's Senate campaign. Prior to that she had been a campaign staffer for Florida Republican congressman Adam Putnam.[2][3]

In 2016, Ortagus was a volunteer on Jeb Bush's presidential campaign.[2]

United States Agency for International Development

From 2007 to 2008, Ortagus was a public affairs officer at United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the George W. Bush administration, spending several months in Baghdad, Iraq. This was Ortagus's first government service.[2][3]

United States Department of the Treasury

In 2008, Ortagus joined the U.S. Treasury Department, working as an Intelligence Analyst within the Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis covering North Africa and Middle East regions.[2][3]

In 2010, Ortagus served as Deputy Treasury Attaché under the Obama administration based at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia when the Arab Spring was breaking out within the region. As Deputy Treasury Attaché, Ortagus worked on countering illicit financial flows.[2][3]

Private sector

After returning to the United States, Ortagus left the government and joined the private sector, first as global relationship manager at Standard Chartered Bank working with clients from Asia, the Middle East and Africa and then in 2016 as executive director at Ernst & Young (EY), where she helped found EY's Geostrategic Business Group working on geopolitical risk analysis for investors.[2][3]

Ortagus worked as national security contributor and Republican strategist at the Fox News Channel, appearing on Fox & Friends, Outnumbered, The Five and Mornings with Maria on the Fox Business Network.[2][3]

Ortagus and Samantha Vinograd are the co-founders of GO Advisors, a geopolitical risk and policy advisory firm.[2][3]

United States Department of State

Ortagus with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 30, 2019

Ortagus returned to government in 2019 after being appointed Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department succeeding Heather Nauert.[1][2]

In June 2019, Ortagus said the United States "view Canada’s claim that the waters of the Northwest Passage are internal waters of Canada as inconsistent with international law."[4]

In August 2019, Ortagus called the Chinese government a "thuggish regime".[5]

Personal life

Ortagus has been married to Jonathan Weinberger since 2013. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presided over their wedding. This is her second marriage.[citation needed]

Weinberger served as White House associate general counsel and executive secretary on Trade from 2008 to 2012 and as executive secretary at the U.S. Treasury Department from 2003 to 2008.[2][3][6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Appointment of Morgan Ortagus as State Department Spokesperson". U.S. State Department. April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Rogin, Josh (April 2, 2019). "Pompeo's new spokeswoman bridges the GOP establishment and Trump world". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Srivatsa, Amrutha (December 11, 2018). "Morgan Ortagus Wiki: Meet Fox News' Impressive Guest Analyst". Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  4. ^ Schlanger, Zoë (June 27, 2019). "The US is picking a fight with Canada over a thawing Arctic shipping route". Quartz.
  5. ^ Griffiths, James (August 9, 2019). "US calls China a 'thuggish regime' for 'harassing' Hong Kong-based American diplomat". CNN.
  6. ^ "Executive profile: Jonathan R. Weinberger". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 4, 2019.