Colleen Bell is an American Diplomat, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (2014-2017) and a Media/Business Executive. She was appointed by President Obama to serve as Ambassador and was confirmed by the United States Senate. As Chief of Mission of U.S. Embassy Budapest, Ambassador Bell supervised a team of over 300 staff members and lead collaboration and engagement on military cooperation, law enforcement and economic/commercial relations between the U.S. and Hungary. She also worked on initiatives including treaty negotiations, cyber security, migration, biotechnology, cultural diplomacy, support for Ukraine, and women’s issues. In addition to leading embassy operations, Ambassador Bell focused on empowering her team and consistently encouraging high levels of engagement and productivity. Ambassador Bell was the first woman awarded the Dr. Ivan Volges award for business promotion from the Chamber of Commerce. She also received the Order of Merit Middle Cross, which is the second highest State Order of Hungary. The Foreign Minister presented Bell the award before her departure from Post on January 20, 2017.
Prior to her diplomatic service abroad, Bell was a leading business executive at an award-winning production company responsible for some of the most-watched television programming in the world, reaching more than 40 million people in over 100 countries across five continents. While a producer at Bell-Phillip Television Productions in Los Angeles, Bell’s work frequently earned the field’s most prestigious recognition for creative content, social awareness, and public-health education. Three time Emmy Award nominee, Bell’s artistic vision has been recognized for its pioneering impact on the lives of a wide array of marginalized populations in the United States and abroad.
In addition to her long career in business, diplomacy and entertainment, Bell is a dedicated philanthropist and an industry-leading advocate committed to tackling some of the most complex domestic and international policy challenges. Bell’s public service work and her successful record of strategic and organization planning have led to the implementation of critical initiatives in natural-resource protection, child-abuse prevention, crime victim counseling and care, public-health awareness, and art accessibility.
Ambassador Bell speaks frequently on topics related to security, democracy, cultural diplomacy and women’s empowerment. She continues her efforts supporting programs and initiatives with top U.S. International Policy organizations including the Atlantic Council, Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), Pacific Council on International Policy, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She also provides advisory and consulting services to think-tanks and companies across a variety of industries.
Bell is a graduate of Sweet Briar College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy. She also attended St. Andrews University in Scotland where she studied International Relations. Bell is married to writer/producer Bradley Bell, with whom she has four children.