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Roger Carstens

Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, US Department of State

Roger Carstens is special presidential envoy for hostage affairs in the US State Department. He was previously deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, where he oversaw Near Eastern Affairs, Western Hemisphere Affairs, and the Office of Security and Human Rights. Prior to this, Carstens was country director in Amman, Jordan, for Blumont, a US-based NGO providing humanitarian assistance and support to Syrian refugees. Earlier in his career, he was the senior civilian advisor on the Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team (CAAT) in Afghanistan; a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security; and special assistant for legislative affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Carstens is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in Special Forces and the 1st Ranger Battalion.

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