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Nicholas Burns

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

Ambassador Nicholas Burns is the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the Department of State’s third-ranking official. As Under Secretary, he oversees U.S. policy in each region of the world.

Prior to his current assignment, Ambassador Burns was the United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. From 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Burns was U.S. Ambassador to Greece.

From 1995 to 1997, Ambassador Burns was Spokesman of the Department of State and Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Secretary Madeleine Albright.

Mr. Burns, a career Senior Foreign Service Officer, served for five years (1990-1995) on the National Security Council staff at the White House. He was Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs.

Mr. Burns earned the Certificat Pratique de Langue Française from the University of Paris (Sorbonne) in 1977. He subsequently earned a B.A. in European History from Boston College in 1978, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa.

In 1980, he received a Masters degree with distinction in International Economics and American Foreign Policy from John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Articles by Nicholas Burns

The Future of the Transatlantic Project

How is the U.S.-European alliance changing — and can it adapt to the world's future challenges?

June 21, 2005