Kevin Whitaker

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Kevin Whitaker
Ambassador Kevin Whitaker.jpg
United States Ambassador to Colombia
Assumed office
May 20, 2014
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byMichael McKinley
Succeeded byJoseph Macmanus (Nominee)
Personal details
Born (1957-04-28) April 28, 1957 (age 62)
Fort Campbell North, Kentucky, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Virginia

Kevin Whitaker (born April 28, 1957) is a United States career diplomat[1] who is the United States Ambassador to Colombia.[2] He was confirmed by the United States Senate[3] on April 1, 2014, and sworn in on April 28, 2014.[4]


Kevin Whitaker is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States.[5] Prior to his appointment as Ambassador to Colombia,[6][7] he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South America in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.[8]

Whitaker has served in the United Kingdom, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, where he was Deputy Chief of Mission (2005–07). In addition, he previously served in a number of positions at the Department of State, including as coordinator of the Office of Cuban Affairs (2002–05), Deputy Executive Secretary (2007–08), and director of the office of Andean affairs (2008–11).[1]

During his Senate confirmation hearing for the post of ambassador to Colombia, Whitaker commented on the effects of the sack of Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro on the peace process between the Colombian government and FARC. Colombian lawmakers criticized Whitaker's comments as an intervention in Colombian internal affairs.[9] In May 2014 Venezuelan officials alleged[10] that Whitaker was personally involved in US attempts to destabilize the left-leaning government of President Nicolás Maduro. The US State Department denied the allegations[11] and an expert in cybersecurity forensics said the emails that supported the allegations were fake.[12]


Whitaker was born in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Merritt Island High School, in Merritt Island, Florida. He received his degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1979.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Official Biography". Department of State. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  2. ^ Atlantic Council. "Send-Off Reception for Ambassador Whitaker". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Inside Congress". The New York Times Co. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Official Confirmation by U.S. Senate". U.S. Senate. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  5. ^ Straehley, Steve. "Ambassador to Colombia: Who Is Kevin Whitaker?". Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Kevin Whitaker, confirmado como embajador de EE. UU. en Colombia". Casa Editorial El Tiempo. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Official Nomination". White House. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  8. ^ Anselma, Adrian. "Kevin Whitaker to be new US ambassador to Colombia: Reports". Colombia Reports. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  9. ^ Molinski, Dan (December 12, 2013). "Incoming U.S. Envoy to Colombia Causes Stir". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ "Venezuela Claims U.S. Ambassador To Colombia Implicated In Opposition Plot". Fox News Latino. May 29, 2014.
  11. ^ Neuman, William. "U.S. Alleged to Join in Plot in Venezuela". The New York Times Co. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  12. ^ de Córdoba, José. "Expert Says Emails Used to Accuse Maduro Opponents of Assassination Plot Are Fake". Dow Jones Business News. Retrieved June 30, 2014.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Michael McKinley
United States Ambassador to Colombia
Succeeded by
Joseph Macmanus