Ambassador Michael Kozak is a charter member of the career Senior Executive Service of the United States Government. As such, he has served in a number of senior positions in the U.S. Executive Branch:
Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2019-Present).
Senior Bureau Official for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (2017-2019).
Senior Adviser to the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (2009-2017). Negotiated a UN resolution to replace “Defamation of Religions” that respected freedom of expression. Served as Acting Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism.
Senior Director on the National Security Council staff (2005-2009) with responsibility for Democracy, Human Rights, International Organizations, Migration and Detainee issues. In this capacity, he chaired interagency policy coordinating committees and proposed and coordinated the implementation of events for the President of the United States. He conceived and implemented a system for achieving interagency agreement on democracy promotion strategies and prioritizing resource allocation to implement them. He authored the first National Security Presidential Directive on Democracy and Human Rights since the Carter administration.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State level positions in three bureaus of the Department of State. (Democracy, Human Rights and Labor 2003-2005; Inter-American Affairs 1988-1991; Legal Adviser 1982-88).
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for extended periods. (Democracy, Human Rights and Labor 2004-5; Inter-American Affairs January 1989-July 1989.) As Acting Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, he organized passage of a resolution on human rights in Cuba in the UN Commission on Human Rights by the largest margin in over a decade. As Acting Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, he assisted Secretary Baker in negotiating and implementing the Bipartisan Accord on Central America which was decisive in bringing a democratic end to the conflict in Nicaragua.
Ambassador in Minsk, Belarus (2000-2003), and Chief of Mission in Havana, Cuba (1996-1999).
Awards: State Department Superior Honor Award, Younger Federal Lawyer Award, Presidential Ranks of Distinguished and Meritorious Executive, Order of Balboa (presented by the president of Panama).
Education: Juris Doctor, University of California at Berkeley, 1971 (Assistant Managing Editor, Law Review), A.B., Political Science, University of California at Berkeley, 1968.