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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Kristie A. Kenney

Photo of Kristie A. Kenney
U.S. Ambassador to Thailand
Term of Appointment: 01/10/2011 to present

Kristie Kenney began her duties as the United States Ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of Thailand on January 8, 2011. A career senior Foreign Service officer, she served as the first female United States Ambassador to the Philippines from 2006-2010. She began her diplomatic career in 1981 and her overseas assignments have included serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador and in positions at U.S. Embassies in Jamaica, Switzerland, and Argentina.

Ambassador Kenney also served as the State Department Executive Secretary in Washington, D.C. and on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. She speaks Spanish and French and has won several prominent awards for leadership.

The daughter of a retired public school teacher and a U.S. World War II veteran, Kristie Kenney grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. She obtained a bachelors degree from Clemson University and a master’s degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. She also attended the National War College in Washington, D.C.

For the last twenty-four years, she has been married to Bill Brownfield, who is currently the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics, Law Enforcement and Crime. Kristie and Bill enjoy playing and watching sports, travel, and spending time with their families. They share their home with two black and white cats named “Emily” and “Junior” who they adopted from an animal shelter.


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