This biography is no longer current; at present, no other official Department of State biographical information is available.
J. Christian Kennedy has been Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues at the U.S. Department of State since August 2006. He is the principal advisor to the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary on foreign policy issues relating to the era of Nazi rule in Germany and Europe. He oversees U.S. participation in the International Holocaust Education Task Force. His office is responsible for restitution and claims issues resulting from the Holocaust, such as providing assistance to Holocaust survivors and their families and encouraging the restitution of artworks and property to rightful owners. His office also supports the State Department's Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism to develop policies and programs to counter Anti-Semitism, working with European governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Since joining the Foreign Service in 1980, Mr. Kennedy has served in Washington, D.C., Poland, and Latin America. Prior to taking up his current position, he was the Senior Advisor for the Foreign Service Career Development Program in the State Department's Bureau of Human Resources. From 1999-2004, he served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. He has been stationed twice in Mexico, in Panama, and, as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, in Georgetown, Guyana from 1994 through 1996. From 1990 until 1994, Mr. Kennedy was the Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Poznan, Poland.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Kennedy spent six years teaching English in Colombia and another 4 years as the director of the Centro Colombo-Americano Binational Center in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Born in Johnson City, New York, Mr. Kennedy studied Romance Languages and Linguistics at the University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Polish and French and is a recipient of the Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award and Superior Honor Award.