Ambassador William J. Burns was appointed Deputy Secretary of State in July 2011. He is currently the highest ranked US Foreign Service Officer in the United States, and the second career diplomat in history to serve in this capacity.
Ambassador Burns served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011. Prior to this role, he was Ambassador of the United States to Russia from 2005 to 2008. Previously, Ambassador Burns also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 to 2005 and Ambassador of the United States to Jordan from 1998 to 2001. He has served extensively overseas and held many other positions in Washington. Ambassador Burns earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from LaSalle University and a Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. He is the recipient of three honorary doctoral degrees and his languages include Russian, Arabic, and French.
Ambassador Burns’ wife, Lisa Carty, is Senior Advisor of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. She has devoted her career to international health and humanitarian issues. She previously worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Agency for International Development.