Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America is pleased to announce that it will present William J. Burns, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, with its Extraordinary Public Service Award at its flagship annual Leadership Summit on June 12, 2023.
Director Burns has a diplomatic career of more than 30 years and holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service: Career Ambassador. He is the first career diplomat to serve as Director of the CIA, and only the second serving career diplomat in history to become Deputy Secretary of State. Prior to his tenure as Deputy Secretary of State, Director Burns served in various leadership positions at the Department of State, including as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011; U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008; Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 to 2005; and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001. Director Burns has received three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the highest civilian honors from the Pentagon and the U.S. Intelligence Community.
“Bill Burns is one of the most accomplished diplomats of his generation, and he continues that extraordinary service to our country today as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency,” said Andrew Albertson, executive director at Foreign Policy for America. “In the lead up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and in the months after, Burns has played a pivotal role in the Biden Administration’s intelligence sharing efforts to ensure that the American public, Ukraine, and our allies fully understand and are prepared to contend with Russia’s horrific aggression. We are very pleased to recognize Ambassador Burns’ extraordinary public service and to honor him at our annual Leadership Summit Awards Reception.”
“As a former career diplomat, Foreign Service colleagues and I were proud to claim Director Burns as one of our own,” said Ambassador (ret) Laura Kennedy, who serves on Foreign Policy for America’s Board of Directors. “But in truth, this extraordinary public servant is a national treasure who has worked tirelessly to make the world a safer and better place. For anyone unable to attend our annual Leadership Summit Awards Reception, I encourage you to read Director Burns’ best-selling book, The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal, for a master class in American diplomacy.”
“Bill Burns is a truly great American, both in the area of foreign policy, where he is peerless, and as a person, who has the respect and admiration of generations of Foreign and Civil Service officers,” said Ambassador (ret.) Robert S. Gelbard, who serves on Foreign Policy for America’s Board of Directors. “Having had the opportunity to know and work with him for more than three decades, I see Bill as a model diplomat and citizen.”