Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden on February 10, 2022 to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa. He served as the 17th Vice Chancellor of the University of the South and Mayor of Sewanee from June 2020 until December 2021. Previously he served as the Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs of The George Washington University.
Ambassador Brigety’s most recent diplomatic assignment was serving as the U.S. Representative to the African Union and U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Economic Commission for Africa from September 2013 to September 2015. Previously, Ambassador Brigety served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs and also as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Ambassador Brigety also held appointments as an assistant professor of government and politics at George Mason University and at the School of International Service at American University between August 2003 and April 2009. In addition, Ambassador Brigety was a researcher with the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) from August 2001 to May 2003, where he conducted research missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Before joining HRW, Ambassador Brigety was an active duty U.S. naval officer and held several staff positions in the Pentagon and in fleet support units.
Ambassador Brigety is a 1995 Distinguished Midshipman Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a B.S. in political science (with merit), served as the Brigade Commander and received the Thomas G. Pownall Scholarship. He also holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Cambridge, England, as well as a Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from Old Dominion University.
Ambassador Brigety is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a recipient of the Council’s International Affairs Fellowship. He is a member of the Board of Councilors of McLarty Associates, an Adjunct Senior Fellow for African Peace and Security at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the American Academy of Diplomacy.