William Joseph Burns is the former United States deputy secretary of state from 2011 to 2014. He is the president of the Carnegie Endowment for international peace. Ambassador Burns retired from the United States foreign service in 2014 after a diplomatic career of 33 years. In the Foreign Service, Burns holds the highest rank as Career Ambassador. He is only the second career diplomat working in history to become Deputy Secretary of State. 

Burns was born on 11th April 1956. He was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Burns is 64 years old as of 2020. His birth sign is Aries.

Full nameWilliam Joseph Burns
Date of birthApril 11 1956
Age64 years old
Birth signAries
Birth PlaceFort Bragg, North Carolina
EducationUniversity of LaSalle/ Oxford University
Marital StatusMarried (Lisa Carty)
Net WorthNot available
William Joseph Burns Education

Ambassador Burns received a B.A. History from the University of LaSalle and M.Phil. Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. He earned D.Phil. degrees in international relations. He is the recipient of three honorary degrees for his doctorate.

William Joseph Burns Career

In 1982, Burns entered the Foreign Service and worked from 2011 to 2014 as Deputy Secretary of State. He worked from 2008 to 2011 as the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He worked from 2005 to 2008 as US Ambassador to Russia, from 2001 to 2005 as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. From 1998 to 2001, he worked as US Ambassador to Jordan. He was also the State Department’s Executive Secretary and Special Assistant to Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Minister of Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He worked as the acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning Staff of the State Department. He also worked as a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council of the United States.

Burns and George Tenet played a key role in pushing through the short-lived Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire agreement of June 2001. He played a leading role in the elimination of the Libyan Illicit Arms Program. He also worked in the early Obama administration’s efforts to reset ties with Russia, and in strengthening the strategic partnership with India. 

William Joseph Burns Retirement 

The State Department announced on April 11 that Burns would step down as Deputy Secretary of State in October 2014, after having delayed his retirement twice, first at Secretary John Kerry’s request and then at Obama’s request. Burns was appointed to the Biden Administration as a candidate for Secretary of State in November 2020. 

An Endowment of Carnegie for International Peace 

On February 4, 2015, Burns was named the ninth President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He leads a global network of 140 scholars across 20 nations and six centers. Burns was widely assumed to be on the shortlist of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s nominees for Secretary of State. POLITICO reported Burn to be a possible contender for Secretary of State of Joe Biden’s presidential candidate.

William Joseph Burns Publications 

In 2019, Random House published his best-selling memoir, The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal. It was published in conjunction with an archive of nearly 100 diplomatic cables which were declassified. In the year 2019, Burns received The Douglas Dillon Book Award. He got the award for Books of Distinction on the Practice of American Diplomacy for The Back Channel. At The Atlantic magazine, he was made a contributing writer in 2019. 

Burns writes for the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and other publications on US foreign policy and diplomacy regularly. 

William Joseph Burns Awards 

Burns has received three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and several state department awards, including three Secretary’s Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award. Burns received the Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Ambassadorial Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development in 2006 and the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award in 2005. He received the James Clement Dunn Award in 1991. He also received the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service in 2014. He received the U.S. Intelligence Community Medallion in 2014, and the Central Intelligence Agency’s Agency Seal Medal in 2014.

Burns was named to the list of “50 Most Promising American Leaders Under Age 40” and “100 Most Promising Global Leaders Under Age 40” by TIME Magazine in 1994.

In 2013, he was named ‘Diplomat of the Year’ by Foreign Policy. He has received the Distinguished Statesman Award from the Anti-Defamation League in 2014. He received the award from the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Middle East Institute in 2014. He received the Annenberg Award for Diplomatic Excellence from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015. 

Burns is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds four honorary doctoral degrees. He is an honorary fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford from 2012. 

William Joseph Burns Relationship

Burns is married to Lisa Carty. The couple has two daughters.

William Burns Net worth

The net worth of William Burns is not available. 

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