Kenton W. Keith

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Ambassador Kenton Keith "assumed the duties of Senior Vice President of Meridian International Center in late 1997 after a career as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Information Agency. His primary responsibility at Meridian is management of the professional exchanges activities associated with the State Department’s International Visitor Program. He retired from USIA with the rank of Career Minister. At the time of his retirement, Ambassador Keith was Director of USIA's Office of North African, Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, managing field operations, public diplomacy activities and budget for the Agency’s largest geographical bureau.

"From 1992 to 1995 he served as Ambassador to the State of Qatar. Previous assignments were Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs in Cairo, Senior Cultural Affairs Officer in Paris and various posts in the Near East and Brazil. In 1996 Ambassador Keith served as USIA representative to the interagency planning team charged with designing the reorganization of foreign affairs agencies.

"During his government service Ambassador Keith received two Presidential meritorious service awards and various individual and group superior and meritorious honor awards, including one for his work at the 1991 Middle East peace conference in Madrid. He is a Chevalier in the French Order of Arts and Letters, an honor conferred by the French government in recognition of his contribution to cultural and educational exchange between France and the U. S.

"In November 2001, Keith was recalled to the Department of State to serve as Special Envoy to Islamabad where he set up and directed the Coalition Information Center in Pakistan. He served as spokesman for the U.S. - led coalition during the period of major combat operations in Afghanistan. Apart from his managerial duties at the Meridian International Center, Ambassador Keith remains active in a range of international activities. He serves on the boards of the American Field Service, the Council on International Educational Exchange, and the conflict resolution organization Partners for Democratic Change. In 2003 he was re-elected for second term as Chair of the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, an umbrella organization representing nearly 70 exchange organizations from throughout the U.S. In this role he has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House International Relations Committee. Ambassador Keith lectures extensively on public diplomacy, international education and Middle East Affairs. His schedule in 2003 and 2004 included appearances in 21 cities in 13 States and the District of Columbia, as well as 9 foreign countries. He is currently president of the Association of Black American Ambassadors, and represents the ABAA as a member of the Foreign Affairs Council. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Keith is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a major in International Relations. He was recently named a Distinguished Alumnus of the university and is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Programs Division. Ambassador Keith served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965. He is married to the former Mireille Luc and has two grown children." [1]

He also serves on the media awards committee of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Directors, U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, accessed August 17, 2008.

External links

  • "Biography", Meridian International Center, Accessed December 2006.