David Hale (diplomat)

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David Hale
Official portrait, 2013
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
In office
August 30, 2018 – May 3, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Joe Biden
Preceded byStephen Mull
Succeeded byVictoria Nuland
30th United States Ambassador to Pakistan
In office
December 3, 2015 – August 29, 2018
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byRichard Olson
Succeeded byJohn Hoover (Acting)
United States Ambassador to Lebanon
In office
September 6, 2013 – October 31, 2015
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byMaura Connelly
Succeeded byRichard Jones (Acting)
United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace
In office
May 18, 2011 – June 24, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byGeorge Mitchell
Succeeded byFrank Lowenstein (acting)
United States Ambassador to Jordan
In office
November 7, 2005 – July 9, 2008
Acting: July 12, 2004 – November 7, 2005
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byDavid Satterfield
Succeeded byRobert Beecroft
Personal details
David Maclain Hale

1961 (age 62–63)[1]
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Residence(s)New Jersey, U.S.
EducationGeorgetown University (BSFS)

David Maclain Hale (born 1961) is an American diplomat and career ambassador, who previously served as the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. He is currently a Distinguished Diplomatic Fellow at the Wilson Center, on detail from the Department of State.[2]

Early life[edit]

David Hale was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan[3] in 1961 and lives in New Jersey.[4][5] He graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1983.[5]


Hale joined the Foreign Service in 1985.[4] He served at the United States missions to Tunisia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Nations.[6][4] In Washington, Hale was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel, Egypt and the Levant and Director for Israel-Palestinian Affairs. He held several staff posts, including Executive Assistant to Secretary of State Albright.[5]

Hale was United States Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 2005 and 2008. He was Deputy Envoy from 2009 to 2012, and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace between 2011 and 2013. He served as the United States Ambassador to Lebanon from 2013 to 2015.[5]

Hale was the United States Ambassador to Pakistan from August 5, 2015 to August 30, 2018.[5] In May 2017, he dedicated a new Counter-Terrorism Department building in Karachi.[7] The building, which had been bombed in 2010, was rebuilt at a cost of 24 million Pakistani rupees contributed from the United States Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.[7]

Hale is the recipient of several Department Superior and Meritorious Honor awards, including the Secretary's Distinguished Service Award in 2013.[5]

In July 2018, President Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Hale as the next Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.[8] During the Legislative day of August 28, 2018, he was confirmed by a voice vote.[9]

On September 13, 2018, Hale was promoted to the rank of Career Ambassador – the highest rank in the foreign service.[10] He was formerly the highest-ranked serving United States Foreign Service Officer.

Hale with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on August 30, 2018

Service as Under Secretary[edit]

In early 2020, Under Secretary Hale visited West Africa to advance US diplomatic interests in the Sahel.[11]

In September 2020, Hale testified that a potential sale of F-35 fighter aircraft to the United Arab Emirates would be discussed with Israel in light of US policy goals to maintain an advantage for Israel in the area.[12]

In 2021, Victoria Nuland was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as Under Secretary for Political Affairs in the new administration. Hale consequently stepped down from the position and was detailed to the Wilson Center, a policy think-tank based in Washington D.C, as a Distinguished Diplomatic Fellow. Upon his resignation as Under Secretary, he ceded his status as the highest-ranking U.S. Foreign Service Officer, a position held by the officer serving in the highest political appointment in the Department (usually Deputy Secretary or Under Secretary for Political Affairs) irrespective of years of service.

Testifying in impeachment inquiry[edit]

Hale appeared before House investigators on November 6, 2019 with regard to the impeachment inquiry. Hale came to the attention of the impeachment inquiry when Philip Reeker testified about support for Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch being suppressed after President Donald Trump had her removed as ambassador to Ukraine. Mr. Reeker's deputy, George P. Kent, voiced misgivings about Rudy Giuliani’s role in Ukraine matters to Reeker and Hale, according to documents from the State Department's inspector general.[13]

External videos
video icon Testimony of Hale and Laura Cooper to the House Intelligence Committee, November 20, 2019, C-SPAN

On November 20, 2019, Hale testified that an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official informed him that Trump ordered aid to be withheld from Ukraine.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "David Hale (1961–)". history.state.gov. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "Wilson Center Names Ambassador David Hale as Distinguished Diplomatic Fellow | Wilson Center".
  3. ^ Trump impeachment hearings Day 4, archived from the original on 2021-12-19, retrieved 2019-11-21
  4. ^ a b c "David Hale new US envoy to Pakistan". Dawn.com. Dawn. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "About Ambassador David Hale". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "David Hale nominated as next US ambassador to Pakistan - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Express Tribune. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b Ali, Imtiaz (11 May 2017). "US contributes Rs24m for new CTD building in Karachi". Dawn. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  8. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Appoint Personnel to Key Administration Posts". whitehouse.gov. July 10, 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018 – via National Archives.
  9. ^ "Senate Floor Activity - Tuesday, August 28, 2018". U.S. Senate. U.S. Government Publishing Office. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "David Hale - People - Department History - Office of the Historian".
  11. ^ "Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale will travel to West Africa". U.S. Embassy in Mali. 4 February 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Top US lawmakers voice support for Israel's military edge amid F-35 sale". DefenseNews. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  13. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "First Public Hearings in Impeachment Inquiry to Begin Next Week", Nov. 6, 2019 [1]
  14. ^ "3 takeaways from Laura Cooper's and David Hale's testimony". The Washington Post. 2019-11-20. Retrieved 2021-08-23.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Jordan
Acting: 2004–2005
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace
Succeeded by
Martin Indyk
as United States Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Lebanon
Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Ambassador to Pakistan
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Succeeded by