Ambassador P. Michael McKinley (ret.)

Guest Author

Over the course of a 37-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador P. Michael McKinley (ret.) led some of the largest embassies in the world as the US Ambassador to Peru (2007-2010), Colombia (2010-2013), Afghanistan (2014-2016), and Brazil (2017-2018). His last posting was as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State until his resignation in October 2019. He worked on development, trade, and investment issues across his career and had extensive experience with regional conflicts and peace negotiations across three decades on three continents.

Ambassador McKinley joined the US Foreign Service in 1982. Earlier assignments included Bolivia, the United Kingdom, and postings as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Mozambique, Uganda, Belgium, and at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. He served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Migration, and Refugees from 2001-2004 in the aftermath of 9/11, overseeing U.S. government assistance to the resettlement program in the United States and to refugee populations in Africa, Europe, and Latin America.

Ambassador McKinley is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including State Department Distinguished Honor Awards and Presidential Performance Awards. He graduated from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom in 1975 and earned a Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1982. He is the author of an acclaimed study of colonial Venezuelan history, which was published by Cambridge University Press. His articles on foreign policy and U.S. politics have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, the Financial Times, and other publications.

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