Michael Ratney is the Dean of the School of Language Studies at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute. A Senior Foreign Service Officer, Ratney was most recently on detail as a faculty member at the National Defense University. Prior to that, Ratney served as the State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Levant and Israel-Palestinian Affairs and, from 2015 to 2017, as the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria. From 2012 to 2015, Ratney was the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, leading a mission of 600 Americans, Israelis, and Palestinians responsible for the U.S. political, economic, and cultural relationship with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. Until 2012, Ratney was Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Media in the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs, overseeing a network of global Media Hubs responsible for foreign-language media engagement on behalf of the U.S. government. Prior to that, he served as Spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1990, Ratney served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, as well as tours in Mexico City, Baghdad, Beirut, Casablanca, Bridgetown, and Washington, DC. Ratney is from Massachusetts. He earned a BS from Boston University, and an MA from the George Washington University. His foreign languages are Arabic and French.

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