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Nicholas Burns Biography

Nicholas Burns is the US Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, appointed by President Joe Biden. One of the country’s most articulate spokespeople on globalization and U.S. foreign policy, he has earned respect as a nonpartisan expert on public diplomacy and world affairs. He has had a long career in American diplomacy serving six Presidents and nine Secretaries of State.

Prior to his ambassadorship, Burns was the Roy and Barbara Goodman Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the Executive Director of the Aspen Strategy Group. He also founded the Kennedy School's Future of Diplomacy Project, dedicated to promoting the study and understanding of diplomacy, negotiation and statecraft in international politics, and served on the Board of Directors of the School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and as a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Throughout his career in government, Ambassador Burns has served in many roles -- as a career Foreign Service Officer, he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008; as U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 2001–2005; as Ambassador to Greece from 1997–2001; and as State Department Spokesman from 1995–1997. He worked for five years on the National Security Council at the White House, where he was Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs and Special Assistant to President Clinton, and Director for Soviet Affairs in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush during the collapse of the USSR. Ambassador Burns began his Foreign Service career in the Middle East, serving in the American Consulate General in Jerusalem, and before that, at the American embassies in Egypt and Mauritania.

Ambassador Burns has received fifteen honorary degrees, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award. He is the recipient of many other awards, including from the governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Kosovo.

The ambassador is a graduate of Boston College, where he earned a BA in History, and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he received his MA in International Relations.

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Nicholas Burns for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Nicholas Burns speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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Please Note: All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Nicholas Burns for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Nicholas Burns speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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