H. Allen Holmes

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Henry Allen Holmes (born January 11, 1933) was the United States Ambassador to Portugal from 1982 to 1985 and a career diplomat.


Born in Bucharest, Romania to American parents, Holmes earned his A.B. in 1954 at Princeton University, where he was a classmate of Donald Rumsfeld.[1] Holmes then joined the US Marine Corps, leaving as an infantry captain in 1957 to study at Sciences Po in Paris. He graduated with a certificate in 1958 and was hired as an intelligence research analyst for the US Department of State that same year. Holmes began his diplomatic career by joining the Foreign Service in 1959; his first posting was as a consular and political officer in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He continued to advance through various State Department positions for the next two decades, including posts in Rome and Paris, until his appointment as Ambassador to Portugal in 1982. From 1985 to 1989 Holmes served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs. In 1989 he was appointed Ambassador at Large for Burdensharing in which he ensured balanced security responsibility among NATO members, Japan, and other US allies. Following this he was nominated by President Clinton to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict.[2] During this time his office generated a plan for the Department of Defense to launch new national counterterrorism strategy to respond to "the gauntlet the international terrorists have thrown at our feet," but as mentioned in the 9/11 report, the paper never went beyond the Office of the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.[3] He is currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service[4] and a member of Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change.[5]

H. Allen Holmes is married and has two children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scarborough, Rowan. Rumsfeld's War: The Untold Story of America's Anti-Terrorist Commander. Regnery Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0-89526-069-7 p. vi.
  2. ^ Clinton Presidential Center
  3. ^ The 9/11 Commission Report. W. W. Norton & Company, 2004. ISBN 0-393-32671-3 p. 121.
  4. ^ Georgetown profile
  5. ^ Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change Official Statement Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
John T. Chain, Jr.
Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs
July 19, 1985 – August 8, 1989
Succeeded by
Richard A. Clarke
Preceded by
Richard J. Bloomfield
United States Ambassador to Portugal
Succeeded by
Frank Shakespeare