President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
William J. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, since 2015. He retired from the US Foreign Service in 2014 after a 33-year diplomatic career and holding its highest rank: career ambassador. Burns is only the second career diplomat in US history to become deputy secretary of state, serving from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, he was undersecretary for political affairs from 2008 to 2011, US 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. Burns has received three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and several Department of State awards.
Big IdeaI still think it’s possible to renew American diplomacy, but we’re digging a pretty deep hole for ourselves today. My concern is we’ll eventually stop digging, but when we climb back to the top of the hole we’re gonna look out on a landscape that has hardened against our interests and, in some ways, against our values.William Burns