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I doubt myself all the time, Emily. It's just not showing it. That's what being a diplomat's all about.

Elizabeth Prentiss is the mother of BAU Unit Chief Emily Prentiss and a U.S. Ambassador who was formerly posted in Ukraine. She appeared in the Season Two episode of Criminal Minds, "Honor Among Thieves".


Elizabeth's job required her and her family to be posted in the Middle East, Japan, Russia, Italy, and undoubtedly other countries. Her job greatly influenced both her professional and private lives, leading to a strained relationship with her daughter and why Prentiss hates politics; Prentiss has even called her mother a career politician. At one point, Elizabeth wanted Emily to live on-campus but was willing to pay for a Georgetown apartment she lived in while attending college, as Emily's job as a waitress couldn't cover the cost. When Emily was fifteen, she became pregnant and had an abortion while the family was posted in Italy; Elizabeth was unaware of the situation as Prentiss admitted to Rossi that she couldn't tell her about it.

Honor Among Thieves[]

When Elizabeth is sought by a Russian family asking for help when their father is abducted, she goes directly to the BAU with the knowledge that they are the best equipped to solve a situation of that nature, more so when the abduction is suspected to be the job of Russian mobsters. Once the case is solved, it is implied that both she and Emily are ready to close the bridge that has separated them for decades and start rebuilding their relationship.