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R. Nicholas Burns Edit Profile

also known as Robert Nicholas Burns, Nicholas Burns

ambassador , international politics professor

R. Nicholas Burns, American international politics professor, former ambassador. Named Communicator of Year, National Association Government Communicators, 1997; named one of The 50 Most Powerful People in District of Columbia, Gentlemen’s Quarterly magazine, 2007; recipient Public Service award, Boston College Alumni Association, 2001, Woodrow Wilson award for Distinguished Government Service, John Hopkins University, 2002.


Burns, R. Nicholas was born on January 28, 1956 in Buffalo.


Bachelor summa cum laude in History, Boston College, 1978. Master of Arts with distinction in International Relations, Economics & American Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins School Advanced International Studies, 1980.


Intern United States Embassy Nouakchott, Mauritania, 1980-1981. Progressive officer A.T. International, 1981-1982. Vice consul and staff assistant to ambassador United States Embassy, Cairo, 1983-1985.

Political officer American Consulate General, Jerusalem, 1985-1987. Staff officer department operations center and secretariat United States Department State, 1987-1988, special assistant to the counselor of the department Soviet & Eastern European Affairs, 1989-1990, White House director Soviet affairs, 1990-1993, senior director for Russian, Ukraine & Eurasia affairs & special assistant to the President, 1993-1995, national security council staff, White House, state department spokesman, 1995—1997, United States ambassador to Greece Athens, 1997-2001, United States permanent representative to North Atlantic Treaty Organization Brussels, 2001—2005, under secretary for political affairs Washington, 2005—2008. Professor practice diplomacy & international policy, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs.

John F. Kennedy School Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, since 2008. Senior counselor The Cohen Group, Washington, since 2009. Visiting scholar Woodrow Wilson Center International Scholars., 2008.


Member of Council Foreign Relations, Phi Betta Kappa.


Married Elizabeth Baylies. Children: Sarah, Elizabeth, Caroline.

Elizabeth Baylies

Sarah Burns

Elizabeth Burns

Caroline Burns