Donald F. McHenry
Donald F. McHenry served as Ambassador and US Permanent Representative to the UN from September 1979 until January 20, 1981. As chief US representative to the UN, he also served as a member of President Carter’s Cabinet. At the time of his appointment, Ambassador McHenry was Ambassador and US Deputy Representative to the UN Security Council, a position to which he was appointed in March 1977.
Ambassador McHenry was a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University from 1981 to 2014. Upon his retirement, the University established the Donald F. McHenry Chair in Global Human Development. He is also president of the IRC Group, an international consulting firm.
Ambassador McHenry has studied, taught and worked primarily in the fields of foreign policy and international law and organizations. He joined the US Department of State in 1963 and served eight years in various positions related to US foreign policy. In 1966, he received the Department’s Superior Honor Award. In 1971, while on leave from the Department, he was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC and an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, New York. In 1973, after leaving the State Department, he joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC as a project director in Humanitarian Policy Studies. In 1976, he served as a member of President Carter’s transition staff at the State Department before joining the US Mission to the UN.
During his career, Ambassador McHenry represented the US in a number of international fora and as the US negotiator on the question on Namibia.
Ambassador McHenry has taught at Southern Illinois, Howard, American, and Georgetown Universities. He is the author of Micronesia: Trust Betrayed (Carnegie Endowment, 1975) and numerous other articles published in professional journals and newspapers.
Ambassador McHenry is a director of the International Paper Company, the Coca-Cola Company, the Fleet National Bank and its holding company Fleet Boston Financial Corporation, Glaxo Smith Kline p.l.c. and AT&T. He also holds a number of board and trustee positions in non-governmental organizations, including the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Fund, the Institute for International Education, Institute for International Economics, the American Ditchley Foundation, The American Assembly, and the US Committee for the UN Population Fund. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the UN Association of the US of America, and he is an Editorial Board member of Foreign Policy Magazine. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Ambassador McHenry is a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of the Council of Foreign Relations, and the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation, the Johnson Foundation, the National Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mount Holyoke College, Mayo Foundation, and the World Peace Foundation. He is a trustee emeritus of Columbia University and the MAYO Clinic, as well as chairman emeritus of Africare.
Ambassador McHenry was born in East St. Louis, IL in 1936 where he also grew up. He graduated in 1957 from Illinois State University and two years later received an MA from Southern Illinois University with majors in international affairs and in rhetoric and public address. He is the father of one son and two daughters.