William R. Brownfield

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Bill Brownfield, "a career minister in the Senior Foreign Service, was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Colombia on August 21, 2007.

"Before arriving in Colombia, Ambassador Brownfield served as U.S. Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Chile. His first assignment after joining the Foreign Service in 1979 was in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Ambassador Brownfield’s other overseas postings also include Counselor for Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and assignments in Argentina and El Salvador. He was temporarily assigned as Political Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Southern Command in Panama 1989-90.

"In Washington, Ambassador Brownfield’s assignments have included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), Executive Assistant in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, Member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

"Ambassador Brownfield is a graduate of Cornell University (1974) and the National War College (1993); he also attended the University of Texas School of Law (1976-78). He speaks Spanish and French. He is a native of the State of Texas." [1]

Brownfield is married to Kristie Kenney, the United States Ambassador to Thailand.


In 2007, Chris Carlson noted that:

"Under Ambassador Brownfield there have been increasing tensions between Washington and Caracas, resulting in threats by President Chávez to expel Brownfield from the country.
"The most memorable event came last year when Chávez accused Brownfied of provoking the Venezuelan people, and assured that any continued provocations would result in his expulsion.
"Brownfield was met with a hostile reception as he arrived at a sports center in the working-class suburb of Coche, south of the capital to present a donation to a youth baseball team. The US envoy was egged and blocked from attending a charity event at a Venezuelan sports center in Caracas.
"Later, in January of this year, there was renewed conflict when President Chávez announced the nationalization of CANTV, Venezuela's largest telephone company owned in part by the New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. Brownfield expressed concern about the fair compensation of U.S. companies in Venezuelan nationalizations, and Chávez responded by accusing the Ambassador of meddling in Venezuela's affairs.
"But perhaps the biggest cause of conflict between Washington and Caracas has been the increased funding of Venezuelan opposition groups by the U.S. State Department, and the Embassy's obvious support for anti-Chávez groups. The U.S. Government has funneled more than $20 million to opposition organizations and parties since 2001, through its two financing entities, the National Endowment for Democracy and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Financing has quadrupled under President Bush." [2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. William R. Brownfield, US Department of State, accessed September 22, 2008.
  2. Chris Carlson, "U.S. Names New Ambassador to Venezuela", Venezuelanalysis.com, March 2, 2007.