Otunbayeva defies categorization in terms of political philosophy.
Her political parties, first Ata-Jurt ("Fatherland"), then the Social Democrats, are often portrayed as "leftists" on the political scale in Kyrgyzstan, but the party orients itself to continental European social democrats and to the British Labour Party (with which Otunbayeva has solid connections, including with Tony Blair).
Based on these factors, several of the opposition leaders tell me a quick consensus was reached that Otunbayeva should be the provisional leader and the "face to the world" of the new revolution.
Otunbayeva, who is 59, launched her career in the diplomatic service, obtaining the position of foreign minister of the Kyrgyz SSR at a precocious age.
This is a list of Ambassadors of the United States to Kyrgyzstan.