The ambassadors who came to Brookings

Flags in Geneva

The Brookings Institution is headquartered on Massachusetts Ave., NW, a road also known informally as “embassy row,” featuring scores of embassy buildings along its length. Within just a couple of blocks of Brookings, there are embassies of 8 countries alone: Uzbekistan, Chile, Colombia, The Philippines, Tunisia, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad & Tobago, and Australia.

Brookings is not only nestled in the heart of this stretch of diplomatic activity, but it has also hosted a plethora of ambassadors at its public events. On Monday, August 15, His Excellency François Nkuna Balumuene of the Democratic Republic of Congo will offer remarks on his nation’s political crisis.

Many other distinguished guests have spoken to Brookings audiences. Here is a list (doubtfully complete and covering only about 15 years) of those officials who participated in events in their capacity as ambassador to the United States (or as indicated in parentheses), and when they did so (some multiple times):

African UnionAmina Salum Ali (2013)

AustraliaDennis Richardson (2006); Kim Beazley (2015)

Brazil (to the UN) – Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (2015)

CanadaMichael Wilson (2009)

ChinaZhou Wenzhong (2009)

Congo, Democratic Republic – François Nkuna Balumuene (2016); Faida Mitifu (2008)

Colombia – Juan Carlos Pinzón (2016)

El Salvador – Francisco Altschul (2012)

European Union – João Vale de Almeida (2012); John Bruton (2005, also June 2009, Oct. 2009)

FranceJean-David Levitte (2003, also 2005; now a distinguished fellow); Pierre Vimont (2010)

GeorgiaArchil Gegeshidze (2014)

GermanyPeter Wittig (2014)

IraqLukman Faily (2013, also in 2014)

JapanIchiro Fujisaki (2008, also in 20092010, March 2011, Sept. 2011, March 2012, Oct. 2012); Kenichiro Sasae (2013)

KazakhstanKanat Saudabayev (2006)

KenyaElkanah Odembo (2011)

Korea (Republic of) – Ahn Ho-Young (2014, also in 2015)

Kyrgyzstan – Nurbek Jeenbaev (2006)

LebanonAntoine Chedid (2014)

NigerHassana Alidou (2016)

Norway – Kåre R. Aas (2015)

PakistanJehangir Karamat (2004); Mahmud Ali Durrani (2007)

Poland – Ryszard Schnepf (2013)

Marshall IslandsCharles Rudolph Paul (2012)

MexicoArturo Sarukhan (2009, 2010, now a nonresident senior fellow)

MoldovaIgor Munteanu (2014)

Russia (to Canada) – Georgiy Mamedov (2009)

RwandaJames Kimonyo (2008); Mathilde Mukantabana (2016)

South AfricaEbrahim Rasool (2013)

Tajikistan – Aslov Sirodjidin (2006)

UgandaOliver Wonekha (July 2016, also Aug. 2016)

UkraineOlexander Motsyk (2014)

United Arab EmiratesYousef Al Otaiba (2016)

United KingdomPeter Westmacott (2014)

UzbekistanAlisher Vohidov (2006)

Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C..jpg
Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, DC (by Kobac, Wikimedia Commons)

Brookings has also hosted numerous American ambassadors. A select list of those who have appeared on the Brookings stage while serving as an ambassador is below; many other public officials who served previously as ambassador—such as Nicholas Burns, Ryan Crocker, Carla Hills, Richard Holbrooke, Richard Murphy, and Susan Rice—have also appeared at Brookings numerous times.

Susan Johnson Cook – amb.-at-large for international religious freedom (2011)

Ivo Daalder – amb. to NATO (and former senior fellow)

Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe – amb. to the UN Human Rights Council

Christopher Hill – amb. to Iraq (2010)

Jon Huntsman – amb. to China (also a distinguished fellow) (2011, also 2013)

Tina Kaidanow – amb.-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism (2015)

Karen Kornbluh – amb. to OECD (2012)

Joseph LeBaron – amb. to Qatar (2009)

Mary Beth Leonard – amb. to Mali (2014)

Gary Locke – amb. to China (2013)

Stephen Rapp – amb.-at-large for war crimes issues (2013)

Catherine Russell – amb.-at-large for global women’s issues (2014)

Stephen Seche – amb. to Yemen (2010)

Michael Sheehan – amb.-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism (2000)

David Thorne – amb. to Rome (2010)

Richard Verma – amb. to India (2015)

Melanne Verveer – amb.-at-large for global women’s issues (2009)

Kevin Whitaker – amb. to Colombia (2016)

Embassy of Greece in Washington DC.jpg
Embassy of Greece, Washington, DC (Wikimedia Commons)

Finally, a number of current Brookings scholars have served as ambassadors or held ambassadorial rank, including:

Dan Arbell – nonresident senior fellow; deputy chief of mission, Israeli embassy, Washington

Jeffrey Bader – senior fellow; amb. to Namibia (1999-2001)

Daniel Benjamin – nonresident senior fellow; amb.-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism (2009-12)

Norman Eisen – visiting fellow; amb. to the Czech Republic (2011-14)

Jean-Marie Guéhenno – nonresident senior fellow; amb. of France to the Western European Union

Jon Hunstman – distinguished fellow; amb. to Singapore (1992-93); China (2009-11)

Martin Indyk – executive vice president; amb. to Israel (1995-97; 2000-01)

Jean-David Levitte – distinguished fellow; amb. of France to the U.S. (2000-02)

Shivshankar Menon – distinguished fellow; amb. of India to Israel (1995-97) and to China (2000-03)

Steven Pifer, senior fellow; amb. to Ukraine (1998-2000)

Thomas Pickering, distinguished fellow; amb. to Jordan (1974-78); Nigeria (1981-83); El Salvador (1983-85); Israel (1985-88); United Nations (1989-92); India (1993-93); Russian Federation (1993-96)

Itamar Rabinovich – distinguished fellow;  ambassador of Israel to the U.S. (1992-96)

Arturo Sarukhan – nonresident senior fellow; ambassador of Mexico to the U.S. (2007-13)

Teresita Schaffe – nonresident senior fellow; amb. to Sri Lanka (1992-95)

Cynthia Schneider – nonresident senior fellow; amb. to The Netherlands (1998-2001)

Daniel Speckhard – nonresident senior fellow; amb. to Greece (2007-10)

Strobe Talbott – president; amb.-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state on the New Independent States (1993-94)