William J. Burns Named President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

A statement by Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, concerning the appointment of William J. Burns as the ninth President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

I am delighted to congratulate our sister institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on the selection of former Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns as the ninth President of this esteemed institution. His distinguished diplomatic career, spanning more than three decades, is a testament to his dedication, effectiveness, and can-do spirit—a characteristic that, in this case, transcends cliché. From his exemplary work as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs on the National Security Council staff, and as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, to his steady handling of relations with Russia as U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, and, most recently, his tenure as only the second career diplomat to serve as Deputy Secretary of State, not to mention his quiet diplomatic engagement with Iran, William Burns has exemplified all that is best in American diplomacy. He is a rare combination of humility, intelligence, and competence, and is universally admired and respected by his colleagues and peers in the United States and abroad.

In an age when public regard for the government is at an all-time low, William Burns is the living embodiment of what is right about public service. His tireless efforts to advance American interests, while integrating a vast body of knowledge about the global context in which diplomacy plays out, have been an inspiration to his contemporaries and younger generations alike. The country's seeming loss is a gain for the Carnegie Endowment, as well as America and the wider world, since he will no doubt apply his prodigious talents to the longstanding mission of the Carnegie Endowment to promote peace in a troubled world. In recognizing his accomplishments and future promise, I would also like to commend outgoing President Jessica Tuchman Matthews, a dear friend and trusted confidante, whose nearly two-decade leadership as President of the Carnegie Endowment has set a standard for excellence that will be hard to match. Carnegie Corporation of New York salutes the rich legacy that Jessica leaves behind while looking forward to future engagement with her impressive and accomplished successor.

Vartan Gregorian
President, Carnegie Corporation of New York