The Strength of America’s Apolitical Military

Statement by Former U.S. Ambassadors, Military Officers, Senior Officials

First published on June 5, 2020. Updated: June 15, 2020.

Retired members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, many of whom had seen first-hand in non-democratic countries the use of the military as a tool to suppress public protest, were alarmed this week at what seemed steps in that direction on the streets of Washington. The following letter expresses their concern at such measures and their support for the U.S. military’s proud tradition of staying outside of politics. It is addressed to national, state, and local leaders, and has been endorsed by 612 former officials from the diplomatic, military, and other services, as listed below.

The Strength of America’s Apolitical Military

The United States is passing through a period unlike any our country has experienced before. Our population, our society, and our economy have been devastated by the pandemic and the resulting depression-level unemployment. We deplore the brutal killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis which has provoked more widespread protests than the United States has seen in decades.

As former American ambassadors, generals and admirals, and senior federal officials, we are alarmed by calls from the President and some political leaders for the use of U.S. military personnel to end legitimate protests in cities and towns across America.

Many of us served across the globe, including in war zones, diplomats and military officers working side by side to advance American interests and values. We called out violations of human rights and the authoritarian regimes that deployed their military against their own citizens. Our values define us as a nation and as a global leader.

The professionalism and political neutrality of the U.S. military have been examples for people around the world who aspire to greater freedom and democracy in their own societies. They are among our nation’s greatest assets in protecting Americans and asserting American interests across the globe.

Cities and neighborhoods in which Americans are assembling peacefully, speaking freely, and seeking redress of their grievances are not “battlespaces.” Federal, state, and local officials must never seek to “dominate” those exercising their First Amendment rights. Rather they have a responsibility to ensure that peaceful protest can take place safely as well as to protect those taking part. We condemn all criminal acts against persons and property, but cannot agree that responding to these acts is beyond the capabilities of local and state authorities.

Our military is composed of and represents all of America. Misuse of the military for political purposes would weaken the fabric of our democracy, denigrate those who serve in uniform to protect and defend the Constitution, and undermine our nation’s strength abroad. There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech, however uncomfortable that speech may be for some.

We are concerned about the use of U.S. military assets to intimidate and break up peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C. Using the rotor wash of helicopters flying at low altitude to disperse protestors is reckless and unnecessary. The stationing of D.C. Air National Guard troops in full battle armor on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial is inflammatory and risks sullying the reputation of our men and women in uniform in the eyes of their fellow Americans and of the world.

Declaring peaceful protestors “thugs” and “terrorists” and falsely seeking to divide Americans into those who support “law and order” and those who do not will not end the demonstrations. The deployment of military forces against American citizens exercising their constitutional rights will not heal the divides in our society.

We urge the President and state and local governments to focus their efforts on uniting the country and supporting reforms to ensure equal police treatment of all citizens, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Ultimately, the issues that have driven the protests cannot be addressed by our military. They must be resolved through political processes.

Anne H. Aarnes
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley
Ambassador (ret)

Edward Abington
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Jonathan S. Addleton
Ambassador, USAID (ret)

Terry Adirim
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

James A. Adkins
MG, US Army (ret)

Cynthia H. Akuetteh
Ambassador (ret)

Karl P. Albrecht
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Leslie Alexander
Ambassador (ret)

Javed Ali
Former Senior Director, National Security Council

Craig Allen
Ambassador (ret)

Jay Anania
Ambassador (ret)

Claudia E. Anyaso
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Ricardo Aponte
Brigadier General, USAF (ret)

Richard H. Appleton
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Hilda Arellano
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Raymond Arnaudo
Senior State Department Official (ret)

Kirk Augustine
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Liliana Ayalde
Ambassador (ret)

Alyssa Ayres
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Daniel Baer
Ambassador (ret)

Gary G. Bagley
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Jess L. Baily
Ambassador (ret)

Tom Baltazar
Senior Executive Service, USAID (ret)

Robert C. Barber
Ambassador (ret)

Donna Barbisch
Major General, USA (ret)

Denise Campbell Bauer
Ambassador (ret)

James A. Beaver
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Frederick Becker
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Robert Mason Beecroft
Ambassador (ret)

Rand Beers
Former Deputy Assistant to the President

Colleen Bell
Ambassador (ret)

William Bellamy
Ambassador (ret)

Daniel Benjamin
Ambassador (ret)

Eric D Benjaminson
Ambassador (ret)

John E. Bennett
United States Ambassador (ret)

Virginia L. Bennett
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Jenna Ben-Yehuda
Former Senior Military Advisor, Department of State

Rob Berschinski
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

James Bever
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

John Beyrle
Ambassador (ret)

J.D. Bindenagel
Ambassador (ret)

Jack R. Binns
Ambassador (ret)

James Keogh Bishop
Ambassador (ret)

Rebecca Black
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Stephen J. Blake
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

James J. Blanchard
Ambassador (ret)
Former Governor of Michigan

Ronald R. Blanck
Lieutenant General (ret)

Beryl Blecher
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Peter W. Bodde
Ambassador (ret)

Barbara Bodine
Ambassador (ret)

Michael A. Boorstein
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Michele Thoren Bond
Ambassador (ret)

Eric J. Boswell
Ambassador (ret)

Paul L. Boyd
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Spencer P. Boyer
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Aurelia E. Brazeal
Ambassador (ret)

Pamela Bridgewater
Ambassador (ret)

Ken Brill
Ambassador (ret)

Carol Moseley Braun
Ambassador (ret)

Philip J. Breeden, Jr.
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Peter S. Bridges
Ambassador (ret)

Dolores Marie Brown
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Gordon S. Brown
Ambassador (ret)

Sue K. Brown
Ambassador (ret)

Steven A. Browning
Ambassador (ret)

Lee Anthony Brudvig
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Jennifer Brush
Ambassador (ret)

Judith L. Bryan
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Todd Buchwald
Ambassador (ret)

Craig Buck
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

David P. Burford
Major General, USA (ret)

Sandy M. Burkholder
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Peter Burleigh
Ambassador (ret)

Nicholas Burns
Ambassador (ret)

William J. Burns
Ambassador (ret)
Former Deputy Secretary of State

Prudence Bushnell
Ambassador (ret)

Patricia A. Butenis
Ambassador (ret)

Michael A. Butler
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Anne Callaghan
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Robert J. Callahan
Ambassador (ret)

Beatrice Camp
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Donald M. Campbell, Jr.
Lieutenant General, US Army (ret)

Piper A. W. Campbell
Ambassador (ret)

Glenn L. Carle
Former Deputy National Intelligence Officer, CIA

Lisa M. Carle
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

George Carner
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

James Carouso
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Steven A. Cash
Former Intelligence Officer, CIA

Ronnie S. Catipon
Senior Foreign Service Special Agent (ret)

John Caulfied
Senior Foreign Service Officer, (ret)

Carey Cavanaugh
Ambassador (ret)

Judith B. Cefkin
Ambassador (ret)

Robert F. Cekuta
Ambassador (ret)

Jeffrey R Cellars
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Wendy J. Chamberlin
Ambassador (ret)

Peter R Chaveas
Ambassador (ret)

Phil Chicola
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Karen L. Christensen
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Gene Christy
Ambassador (ret)

David A. Cohen
Senior Foreign Service, USAID (ret)

Herman J. Cohen
Ambassador (ret)

Maryruth Coleman
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Maura Connelly
Ambassador (ret)

Elinor Constable
Ambassador (ret)

Ellen M. Conway
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Frances D. Cook
Ambassador (ret)

Frederick B. Cook
Ambassador ret)

Suzan Johnson Cook
Ambassador (ret)

Thomas Countryman
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Cindy Courville
Ambassador (ret)

Ertharin Cousin
Ambassador (ret)

Philip E. Coyle III
Former Associate Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House

Gene A. Cretz
Ambassador (ret)

Daniel Thomas Crocker
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Christopher D. Crowley
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

James Dandridge II
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

John J. Danilovich
Ambassador (ret)

Glyn T. Davies
Ambassador (ret)

John W Davison
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Luis C. deBaca
Ambassador (ret)

Kimberley J. DeBlauw
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Carleene Dei
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Ambassador (ret)

Greg Delawie
Ambassador (ret)

Christopher W. Dell
Ambassador (ret)

Anne E. Derse
Ambassador (ret)

Joseph M. DeThomas
Ambassador (ret)

Richard T. Devereaux
Major General, USAF (ret)

James Dickmeyer
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

John Dickson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Elizabeth L. Dibble
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Dirk Willem Dijkerman
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Anne Chermak Dillen
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Robert S. Dillon
Ambassador (ret)

John Dinger
Ambassador (ret)

Kathleen A. Doherty
Ambassador (ret)

Shaun Donnelly
Ambassador (ret)

John Douglass
Brigadier General, USAF (ret)
Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy

Mary Draper
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Audrey B. Dumentat
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

David Dunford
Ambassador (ret)

Polly Dunford
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Morton R Dworken
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Renee M. Earle
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Paul D. Eaton
Major General, USA (ret)

William A. Eaton
Ambassador (ret)

Alan W Eastham
Ambassador (ret)

Luigi Einaudi
Ambassador (ret)

Harriet L. Elam-Thomas
Ambassador (ret)

Susan M. Elliott
Ambassador (ret)

Nancy H. Ely-Raphel
Ambassador (ret)

Larry Emery
Senior Executive Service (ret)

Ellen Connor Engels
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Tom Engle
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Andrew Erickson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

John M. Evans
Ambassador (ret)

John Ewers
Major General, US Marine Corps (ret)

Kenneth Fairfax
Ambassador (ret)

John Feeley
Ambassador (ret)

Gerald M. Feierstein
Ambassador (ret)

Lee Feinstein
Ambassador (ret)

Robert J. Felderman
Brigadier General, USA (ret)

Dan Feldman
Former Special Representative for Afghanistan/Pakistan

Jeffrey Feltman
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Judith R. Fergin
Ambassador (ret)

Jose W. Fernandez
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs

Susan F. Fine
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Jon Finer
Former Chief of Staff, Department of State

Thomas Fingar
Former Assistant Secretary of State

Mark Fitzpatrick
former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Lauri Fitz-Pegado
Former Director General, Foreign Commercial Service

Stephen J. Flanagan
Former Senior Director, National Security Council

Paul Folmsbee
Ambassador (ret)

Jim Foster
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Stephenie Foster
Former Counselor, Office of Global Women’s Issues)

Anita Friedt
Senior Executive Service (ret)

Laurie S. Fulton
Ambassador (ret)

Julie Furuta-Toy
Ambassador (ret)

James I. Gadsden
Ambassador (ret)

Larry Garber
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Janet E. Garvey
Ambassador (ret)

O.P. Garza
Ambassador (ret)

Walter E. Gaskin
Lieutenant General, USMC (ret)

Mary Ellen T. Gilroy
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Mark Gitenstein
Ambassador (ret)

Robert A. Glacel
Brigadier General, US Army (ret)

Fred S. Glass
Rear Admiral, JAGC, USN (ret)

Edward W. Gnehm
Ambassador (ret)

Robert Goldberg
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Christopher E. Goldthwait
Ambassador (ret)

Rose Gottemoeller
former Undersecretary of State

Colleen Graffy
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Gary A. Grappo
Ambassador (ret)

Thomas P. Gratto
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Gordon Gray
Ambassador (ret)

Mary A. Gray
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Thomas F. Gray, Jr
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Ronald Greenberg
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Douglas C. Greene
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Kevin P. Green
Vice Admiral, USN (ret)

Theresa Grencik
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Ken Gross
Ambassador (ret)

Charles H. Grover
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Michael Guest
Ambassador (ret)

Sheila Gwaltney
Ambassador (ret)

Nina Hachigian
Ambassador (ret)

Anne Hall
Ambassador (ret)

Danny Hall
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Suneta L. Halliburton
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Pamela Hamamoto
Ambassador (ret)

John R. Hamilton
Ambassador (ret)

William P. Hammink
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

David Harden
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Robert A. Harding
Major General, USA (ret)

Keith M. Harper
Ambassador (ret)

Grant T. Harris
former senior director, National Security Council

Douglas A. Hartwick
Ambassador, (ret)

Jennifer C. Haskell
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Patricia M. Haslach
Ambassador (ret)

William J. Haugh
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Patricia M. Hawkins
Ambassador (ret)

John Heffern
Ambassador (ret)

Samuel D. Heins
Ambassador (ret)

Douglas Hengel
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Christopher R. Hill
Ambassador (ret)

William H. Hill
Ambassador (ret)

Catherine Hill-Herndon
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Joseph Hilliard
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Jim E. Hinds
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

John L Hirsch
Ambassador (ret)

Eric L. Hirschhorn
Former Undersecretary of Commerce

Richard E. Hoagland
Ambassador (ret)

Heather Hodges
Ambassador (ret)

Karl Hoffmann
Ambassador (ret)

Christopher J. Hoh
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Laura S. H. Holgate
Ambassador (ret)

J. Anthony Holmes
Ambassador (ret)

James H. Holmes
Ambassador (ret)

Jim Hooper
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Samuel M. Hoskinson
Former Vice Chairman, National Intelligence Council

Thomas C. Hubbard
Ambassador (ret)

Franklin Huddle
Ambassador (ret)

Vicki J. Huddleston
Ambassador (ret)

William J. Hudson
Ambassador (ret)

Arthur H. Hughes
Ambassador (ret)

Marie T. Huhtala
Ambassador (ret)

Thomas N. Hull
Ambassador (ret)

Cameron R. Hume
Ambassador (ret)

Ravi R. Huso
Ambassador (ret)

Dorothy Senger Imwold
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Karl F. Inderfurth
Former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs
Ambassador (ret)

David R. Irvine
Brigadier General, USA (ret)

Susan S. Jacobs
Ambassador (ret)

Tracey Jacobson
Ambassador (ret)

Jeanine Jackson
Ambassador (ret)

Jeffrey A. Jacobs
MG, US Army (ret)

Morris E. “Bud” Jacobs
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Les Janka
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

Bonnie Jenkins
Ambassador (ret)

Charles J. Jess
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Dennis Jett
Ambassador (ret)

David T. Johnson
Ambassador (ret)

Karen E. Johnson
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Kathy A. Johnson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Susan R. Johnson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

L. Craig Johnstone
Ambassador (ret)

Elizabeth (Beth) Jones
Ambassador (ret)

Deborah K. Jones
Ambassador (ret)

James R. Jones
Ambassador (ret)

Mosina H. Jordan
Ambassador (ret)

Robert W. Jordan
Ambassador (ret)

Carol Kalin
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Sid Kaplan
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (ret)

Ale Karagiannis
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Steven Kashkett
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Theodore Kattouf
Ambassador (ret)

Allan J. Katz
Ambassador (ret)

Richard D. Kauzlarich
Ambassador (ret)

David J. Keegan
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Craig Kelly
Ambassador (ret)

Ian Kelly
Ambassador (ret)

Stephen R. Kelly
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Barbara Kennedy
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Laura Kennedy
Ambassador (ret)

Susan Keogh
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

David Killion
Ambassador (ret)

Scott Kilner
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Lawrence J. Klassen
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Elise Kleinwaks
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Hans Klemm
Ambassador (ret)

Michael Klosson
Ambassador (ret)

John Koenig
Ambassador (ret)

Mary Ellen Noonan Koenig
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Donald W. Koran
Ambassador (ret)

Ann K. Korky
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Eleni Kounalakis
Ambassador (ret)
Lt. Governor of California

Roland Kuchel
Ambassador (ret)

Eric A. Kunsman
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

June H. Kunsman
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Daniel C. Kurtzer
Ambassador (ret)

Harold Hongju Koh
Former Legal Advisor, Department of State

Christopher Kojm
Former Chairman, National Intelligence Council

Jimmy Kolker
Ambassador (ret)

Karen Kornbluh
Ambassador (ret)

John C. Kornblum
Ambassador (ret)

Thomas C. Krajeski
Ambassador (ret)

David J. Kramer
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

Mary A. Kruger
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Lisa Kubiske
Ambassador (ret)

Elisabeth Kvitashvili
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Mark P. Lagon
Ambassador (ret)

Joseph E. Lake
Ambassador (ret)

David Lambertson
Ambassador (ret.)

David J. Lane
Ambassador (ret)

Joyce Leader
Ambassador (ret)

Barbara A. Leaf
Ambassador (ret)

Richard LeBaron
Ambassador (ret)

Michael R Lehnert
MG, USMC (ret)

Michael C. Lemmon
Ambassador (ret)

Christopher J. Le Mon
Former Senior Advisor, National Security Council

Steven J. Lepper
Major General, USAF (ret)

Barry Levin
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Suzi G. LeVine
Ambassador (ret)

Jeffrey D.  Levine
Ambassador (ret)

Melvin Levitsky
Ambassador (ret)

Dawn Liberi
Ambassador (ret)

David C. Litt
Ambassador (ret)

Hugo Llorens
Ambassador (ret)

Carmen Lomellin
Ambassador (ret)

Edward Loo
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Lewis Lukens
Ambassador (ret)

Douglas Lute
Lieutenant General, USA (ret)
Ambassador (ret)

Buff Mackenzie
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

John F. Maisto
Ambassador (ret)

Deborah R. Malac
Ambassador (ret)

Eileen A. Malloy
Ambassador (ret)

Steven R. Mann
Ambassador (ret)

Randy Manner
Major General, USA (ret)

Nicholas J. Manring
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Edward Marks
Ambassador (ret)

Niels Marquardt
Ambassador (ret)

Dana Marshall
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Frederick H. Martin
Major General, USAF (ret)

Carlos E. Martinez
Brigadier General, USAF (ret)

Vilma S. Martinez
Ambassador (ret)

Dennise Mathieu
Ambassador (ret)

Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
Ambassador (ret)

R. McBrian
Senior Executive Service (ret)

Deborah McCarthy
Ambassador (ret)

Jackson McDonald
Ambassador (ret)

Nancy McEldowney
Ambassador (ret)

Stephen G. McFarland
Ambassador (ret)

Kevin J. McGuire
Ambassador (ret)

James F. McIlmail
Senior Executive Service, Defense Intelligence Agency (ret)

John F. McNamara
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Thomas E. McNamara
Ambassador (ret)

John Medeiros
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Joseph V. Medina
Brigadier General, USMC (ret)

Thomas O. Melia
former Assistant Administrator, USAID

James D. Melville
Ambassador (ret)

James Michel
Ambassador (ret)

Leo Michel
Senior Executive Service, Department of Defense (ret)

Kevin Milas
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Richard Miles
Ambassador (ret)

Katherine J.M. Millard
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Henry Miller-Jones
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Gillian Milovanovic
Ambassador (ret)

David B. Monk
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

William Monroe
Ambassador (ret)

Alberto Mora
Former Navy General Counsel

David A. Morris
Major General, USA (ret)

William J. Mozdzierz
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Kevin J. Mullaly
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Peter F. Mulrean
Ambassador (ret)

Cameron Munter
Ambassador (ret)

Allan Mustard
Ambassador (ret)

Desaix Myers
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Larry C. Napper
Ambassador (ret)

James D. Nealon
Ambassador (ret)

Richard W. Nelson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Susan B. Niblock
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Thomas M. T. Niles
Ambassador (ret)

Brian H. Nilsson
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Crystal Nix-Hines
Ambassador (ret)

Edwin R. Nolan
Ambassador (ret)

Walter North
Ambassador (ret)

Suzanne Nossel
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Gary Oba
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Karen Ogle
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Eric T. Olson
MG, US Army (ret)

Richard G. Olson
Ambassador (ret)

Adrienne S. O’Neal
Ambassador (ret)

Robert M. Orr
Ambassador (ret)

Ted Osius
Ambassador (ret)

Susan D. Page
Ambassador (ret)

Beth S. Paige
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Larry L. Palmer
Ambassador (ret)

Alexi Panehal
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Maurice Parker
Ambassador (ret)

Norma Parker
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Michael Parmly
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Lynn Pascoe
Ambassador (ret)

David Passage
Ambassador (ret)

Margaret C. Pearson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Robert Pearson
Ambassador (ret)

Willard J. Pearson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Edward L. Peck
Ambassador (ret)

Eric Pelofsky
former Senior Director, National Security Council

June Carter Perry
Ambassador (ret)

William Perry
Former Secretary of Defense

Pete Peterson
Ambassador (ret)

James D. Pettit
Ambassador (ret)

Nancy Bikoff Pettit
Ambassador (ret)

Laurence M Pfeiffer
Former Chief of Staff, CIA

Walter N.S. Pflaumer
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Annie Pforzheimer
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

John R. Phillips
Ambassador (ret)

William M. Phillips III
Senior Intelligence Officer (ret)

Daniel W Piccuta
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Thomas R. Pickering
Ambassador (ret)

Stephen Pifer
Ambassador (ret)

H. Dean Pittman
Ambassador (ret)

Joan Plaisted
Ambassador (ret)

Lynne Platt
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Gale S. Pollock
Major General, USA, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN (ret)

Michael C. Polt
Ambassador (ret)

Marc Polymeropoulos
Senior Intelligence Service, CIA (ret)

Karyn Posner-Mullen
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Eric G Postel
Former Associate Administrator, USAID

Phyllis M. Powers
Ambassador (ret)

E. Candace Putnam
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Monique Quesada
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Azita Raji
Ambassador (ret)

William C. Ramsay
Ambassador (ret)

David Rank
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Stephen J. Rapp
Ambassador (ret)

Scott Rauland
Retired SFS officer

Charles Ray
Ambassador (ret)

Evan Reade
Consul General (ret)

Frankie A. Reed
Ambassador (ret)

Helen Reed-Rowe
Ambassador (ret)

Susan Reichle
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Arlene Render
Ambassador (ret)

Markham K. Rich
Rear Admiral, US Navy (ret)

Kathleen A. Riley
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Gary D. Robbins
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Thomas B. Robertson
Ambassador (ret)

Brooks A. Robinson
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Harold L. Robinson
Rear Admiral, CHC USN (ret)

Terri Robl
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Donna G. Roginski
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Peter F. Romero
Ambassador (ret)

Fernando E. Rondon
Ambassador (ret)

John V. Roos
Ambassador (ret)

Frank Rose
Former Assistant Secretary of State

Gerald S. Rose
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Doria Rosen
Ambassador (ret)

Sara Rosenberry
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Christopher W.S. Ross
Ambassador (ret)

Richard Allan Roth
Ambassador (ret)

Leslie V. Rowe
Ambassador (ret)

Stapleton Roy
Ambassador (ret)

Nancy Rubin
Ambassador (ret)

Daniel Rubinstein
Ambassador (ret)

William A. Rugh
Ambassador (ret)

Theodore E. Russell
Ambassador (ret)

Melinda D. Sallyards
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

John F. Sammis
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Robin Renee Sanders
Ambassador (ret)

Janet A. Sanderson
Ambassador (ret)

Andrew H. Schapiro
Ambassador (ret)

David J. Scheffer
Ambassador (ret)

Richard J. Schmierer
Ambassador (ret)

James Schumacher
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

John M. Schuster
Brigadier General, USA (ret)

Teresita C. Schaffer
Ambassador (ret)

Thomas Schieffer
Ambassador (ret)

Brenda Brown Schoonover
Ambassador (ret)

Jill Schuker
Former Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Deborah Schwartz
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Eric P. Schwartz
Former Assistant Secretary of State

Stephen Schwartz
Ambassador (ret)

John F Scott
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Kyle Scott
Ambassador (ret)

Rick Scott
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Stephen A. Seche
Ambassador (ret)

Theodore Sedgwick
Ambassador (ret)

Mark Seibel
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Raymond G.H. Seitz
Ambassador (ret)

Mike Senko
Ambassador (ret)

Daniel Serwer
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
Ambassador (ret)

Daniel Shapiro
Ambassador (ret)

Mattie R. Sharpless
Ambassador (ret)

John Shattuck
Ambassador (ret)

David B. Shear
Ambassador (ret)

William F. Sheehan
Former General Counsel, Department of Defense

Sally Shelton-Colby
Ambassador (ret)

Wendy R. Sherman
Former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs

A. Ellen Shippy
Ambassador (ret)

Sandra Shipshock
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Douglas A. Silliman
Ambassador (ret)

Lawrence R. Silverman
Ambassador (ret)

Mark Silverman
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Paul Simons
Ambassador (ret)

John Sipher
CIA Senior Intelligence Service (ret)

Kristen B. Skipper
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Thomas F. Skipper
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Emil Skodon
Ambassador (ret)

Kenneth N Skoug Jr.
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Walter Slocombe
Former Undersecretary of Defense

Dana Shell Smith
Ambassador (ret)

Paul R. Smith
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Alan Solomont
Ambassador (ret)

Tara D. Sonenshine
Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

Daniel Speckhard
Ambassador (ret)

John Spilsbury
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Madelyn E. Spirnak
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Thomas H. Staal
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Derwood K. Staeben
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Sylvia G. Stanfield
Ambassador (ret)

Karin Clark Stanton
Ambassador (ret)

Donald K. Steinberg
Ambassador, USAID (ret)

Monica Stein-Olson
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Andrew Steinfeld
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Barbara Stephenson
Ambassador (ret)

Kathleen Stephens
Ambassador (ret)

Richard W. Stites
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Cynthia Stroum
Ambassador (ret)

Arsalan Suleman
Former Special Envoy to the Islamic Conference

Joseph G. Sullivan
Ambassador (ret)

Howard J.K. Sumka
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Paul R. Sutphin
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

William L. Swing
Ambassador (ret)

Christopher J. Szymanski
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Strobe Talbott
Former Deputy Secretary of State

Mary Tarnowka
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Francis Taylor
Brigadier General, USAF (ret)
Former DHS Under Secretary

Paul D. Taylor
Ambassador (ret)

Richard W. Teare
Ambassador (ret)

Mary Jane Teirlynck
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Mark Tesone
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Patrick H. Theros
Ambassador (ret)

Harry Thomas
Ambassador (ret)

Daphne Michelle Titus
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Mark Tokola
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Kurt W. Tong
Ambassador (ret)

Gregory F. Treverton
Former Chair, National Intelligence Council

Michael S. Tulley
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Andrew Turley
Major General, USAF (ret)

Robert H. Tuttle
Ambassador (ret)

Michael H. Van Dusen
Senior Congressional Committee Staff Member (ret)

Alan Van Egmond
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Elizabeth Verville
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Alexander Vershbow
Ambassador (ret)

Melanne Verveer
Ambassador (ret)

Philip L. Verveer
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Shari Villarosa
Ambassador (ret)

David G. Wagner
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Marcelle M. Wahba
Ambassador (ret)

Edward S. Walker
Ambassador (ret)

Howard K. Walker
Ambassador (ret)

Jenonne Walker
Ambassador (ret)

Jake Walles
Ambassador (ret)

Mark S. Ward
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Mary Burce Warlick
Ambassador (ret)

John Warner
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Thomas S. Warrick
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Homeland Security

Alexander F. Watson
Ambassador (ret)

Linda E. Watt
Ambassador (ret)

Earl Anthony Wayne
Ambassador (ret)

Janice M. Weber
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

William Weinstein
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Alice G. Wells
Ambassador (ret)

Melissa Wells
Ambassador (ret)

Mark Wentworth
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Joseph W. Westphal
Ambassador (ret)
Former Under Secretary of the Army

Bruce Wharton
United States Ambassador (ret)

Pamela White
Ambassador (ret)

Thomas J White
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Jon A. Wiant
Senior Executive Service (ret)

Bisa Williams
Ambassador (ret)

Molly Williamson
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Ashley Wills
Ambassador (ret)

Jonathan M. Winer
former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Timothy E. Wirth
Former Undersecretary of State

Frank G. Wisner
Ambassador (ret)

John L. Withers II
Ambassador (ret)

Tamara Cofman Wittes
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

John S. Wolf
Ambassador (ret)

Kevin Wolf
Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce

David T. Wolfson
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Burke M. Wong
Attorney-Advisor, Department of Justice (ret)

Mark F. Wong
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Brooks Wrampelmeier
Senior Foreign Service (ret)

Kenneth Yalowitz
Ambassador (ret)

Susumu Ken Yamashita
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

John Yates
Ambassador (ret)

Mary Carlin Yates
Ambassador (ret)

Frank Young
Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID (ret)

Johnny Young
Ambassador (ret)

Thomas M. Young
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Marie L. Yovanovitch
Ambassador (ret)

Alan Yu
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Joseph Y. Yun
Ambassador (ret)

Uzra Zeya
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Jane Zimmerman
Senior Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Peter D. Zimmerman
Senior Executive Service (ret)

James Zumwalt
Ambassador (ret)

Peter B. Zwack
Brigadier General, US Army (ret)

David Zweifel
Ambassador (ret)

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

  

About the Author(s)

Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman

Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Kuwait, and former senior advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

Ambassador Deborah A. McCarthy

Expert on U.S. foreign and national security policy with over 30 years of diplomatic experience. Former U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. Follow her on Twitter (@AMB_DMcCarthy).

Thomas Countryman

Foreign Service Officer for 35 years, most recently Acting Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Follow him on Twitter (@TMCountryman).