Ambassador William Burns is the President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Ambassador Burns pursued a distinguished thirty-three year diplomatic career with the U.S. Foreign Service. He is only the second serving career diplomat in history to become Deputy Secretary of State, a position he held from 2011 until 2014. He also served as Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, 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 speaks Russian, Arabic, and French. He has been the recipient of three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and received the highest civilian honors from the Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community. In 2013, Foreign Policy named him “Diplomat of the Year”.
Ambassador Burns earned a bachelor’s in history from LaSalle University and master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University, as a Marshall Scholar. He is a recipient of four honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.