Ambassador Michael (Mike) A. Hammer was named the United States Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa on June 1, 2022. His most recent assignment abroad was as the U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2018-2022.
Ambassador Hammer is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service class of Minister-Counselor. His over three decades of service include serving as Acting Senior Vice President of the National Defense University (NDU). He served as U.S. ambassador to Chile from 2014-2016. Prior to his appointment in Chile, Ambassador Hammer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from March 2012 to August 2013.
Before joining the Bureau of Public Affairs, Ambassador Hammer served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Press and Communications, and National Security Council Spokesperson from January 2009 to January 2011. He previously served at the National Security Council as Deputy Spokesperson from 1999 to 2000 and as the Director of Andean Affairs from 2000 to 2001.
Ambassador Hammer’s overseas postings include Bolivia, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark. Domestically, he has also served in the State Department Operations Center. Ambassador Hammer has received several awards, including the Department’s Cobb award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Department’s Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, and several Superior Honor awards.
Ambassador Hammer earned a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He also earned Master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and from the National War College at the National Defense University.
Ambassador Hammer grew up in Latin America, living in Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. He is a native Spanish speaker, and speaks French, Portuguese, and Icelandic. Mike and his wife Margret Bjorgulfsdottir have three children.