From 2013-2014, Ambassador Linda Watt was a Encore Innovation Fellow focusing on establishing connections between the Encore movement and communities of faith in the United States. In addition to multiple community and organizational activities, she will complete in 2014 a program to become a certified spiritual director, and is Senior Warden of Grace Episcopal Church in St George, Utah.
From 2007 to 2011, she was Chief Operating Officer of the Episcopal Church. In that position, she coordinated the programmatic, financial, operational, strategic planning, development, and communications efforts of the headquarters of the Church, located in New York City and various regional offices.
Ambassador Watt serves or has served on the Board of Directors of the Adventures for the Mind Foundation, Episcopal Relief and Development, and Pro Mujer, a nonprofit microfinance and human development organization for poor women in Latin America. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Belizean Grove, a selective network of senior women leaders in the corporate, governmental, and nonprofit sectors.
In her earlier career, Ambassador Watt was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. She served as US Ambassador to Panama from 2002 to 2005. She was acting Ambassador in the Dominican Republic from 1997 to late 1999 and was the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander, U.S Southern Command, in 2001 and 2002. She also served at American Embassies in Nicaragua, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Russia, and in the Department of State’s bureaus of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Near Eastern/South Asian Affairs.
A hallmark of her Foreign Service career was what she terms “Marketing America,” highlighting the global leadership of US business and promoting the importance of international engagement by academic, charitable, religious, and civic organizations. In the Dominican Republic, she supported local chapters of Women in International Trade and of Vital Voices. In Panama, she established an annual award for “Unsung Heroines” to highlight the contributions of women leaders. Ambassador Watt encouraged the establishment of study abroad programs, initiated a ground-breaking “People-to-People” program to link U.S. and Panamanian non-government organizations, and supported alumni and outreach programs of prestigious U.S. universities including Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Penn, and Georgetown.
Ambassador Watt received the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award, the U.S Coast Guard’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa (Panama), the Department of Defense’s Civilian Meritorious Service Award, and the Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State. She received the Carnation Award for Lifetime Achievement from Gamma Phi Beta Sorority in 2008. She holds a B.A. (History and Spanish) from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. (Latin American Studies) from the University of New Mexico. She was a Fellow of Seminar XXI (Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996-97, and is a graduate of the State Department’s Senior Seminar, 2000-2001.
Ambassador Watt lives in St. George, Utah, with her husband, Leo Duncan. She has two children: Tom Crosby, an assistant district attorney in Durham, NC, and Laurie Crosby, a mental health counselor in Houston, Texas.