Stephen J. Akard currently serves as the Acting Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State. Prior to this role, he was confirmed on September 11, 2019, as the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions with the rank of Ambassador.
As Acting Inspector General, Ambassador Akard is the senior official responsible for identifying operational risks within the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for Global Media, assessing the sufficiency of internal controls, and conducting administrative and criminal investigations of waste, fraud, mismanagement, and misconduct.
OIGs serve a critical role in accountability and transparency in Government. As Acting Inspector, Ambassador Akard is responsible for providing oversight of more than 70,000 Department of State and U.S. Agency for Global Media employees, 270 overseas missions and other facilities worldwide, and more than $70 billion in Department of State, U.S. Agency for Global Media, and foreign assistance resources. He also serves as the Associate Inspector General for designated overseas contingency operations.
Inspectors General are also entrusted with receiving and investigating whistleblower complaints concerning potential legal violations, mismanagement, gross wastes of funds, abuses of authority, and dangers to health and safety. In accordance with the Inspector General Act of 1978, OIGs ensure that sensitive information in their possession remains confidential and is not disclosed unless otherwise required by law.
Ambassador Akard served as a Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff in the Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to joining the Department of State, Ambassador Akard served as the Chief of Staff for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), the State of Indiana’s lead economic development agency. At the IEDC, Ambassador Akard also held the positions of Vice President and General Counsel, and Director of International Development. Along with his various roles at the IEDC, he also served as the senior foreign affairs advisor to Governors Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Eric Holcomb.
A native of Indianapolis, Ambassador Akard earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and French from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Thereafter, he earned both a law degree from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and an MBA from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Following law school, he was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable James E. Noland, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. He has practiced law in Indianapolis and been an instructor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington.