William Burns

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Former Deputy Secretary of State, President

Hon. William J. Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is the author of The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for its Renewal (Random House, 2019). He retired from the US Foreign Service in 2014 after a 33-year diplomatic career. He holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, Career Ambassador of the Foreign Service of the United States of America, Retired, and is only the second serving career diplomat in history to become Deputy Secretary of State. Prior to his tenure as Deputy Secretary, Ambassador Burns served from 2008 to 2011 as Undersecretary for Political Affairs. He was Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 to 2005, and Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001. Ambassador Burns holds a bachelor’s degree from La Salle University as well as master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.