Jeffrey D. Feltman (born c. 1959) is the John c. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institute. Prior to this position, Feltman served as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. As head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs Feltman oversees the UN’s diplomatic efforts to prevent and mitigate conflict around the globe.
Before joining the United Nations, Feltman served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2009 to June 2012 with the rank of Career Minister. He was previously the United States Ambassador to Lebanon from July 2004 to January 2008.
Before becoming Ambassador to Lebanon, Feltman volunteered to serve at the Coalition Provisional Authority office in Irbil, Iraq, from January to April 2004. Prior to his work in Iraq, he was at the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, where he served first as Deputy (August 2001-November 2002) and then as Acting Principal Officer (November 2002 to December 2003).
He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1986, serving his first tour as consular officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He has spent much of his career dealing with Eastern Europe and the Near East. He served in Embassy Tel Aviv as Ambassador Martin Indyk’s Special Assistant on Peace Process issues (2000-2001). Before that, from 1998-2000, Feltman served as Chief of the Political and Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. He served in the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv from 1995 to 1998, covering economic issues in the Gaza Strip.
Feltman studied Arabic at the University of Jordan in Amman from 1994 to 1995. From 1991 to 1993, Feltman served in the office of the Deputy Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, as a Special Assistant concentrating on the coordination of U.S. assistance to Eastern and Central Europe. He served as an economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Hungary from 1988 to 1991.
Feltman was born in Greenville, Ohio in 1959. He speaks Arabic, French and Hungarian. He received his undergraduate degree in history and fine arts from Ball State University in Indiana in 1981 and his Master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1983.
His lengthy reporting cables are widely read in Washington, enjoyed by senior policy officials and analysts for their narrative qualities and insight. Middle East expert Joshua Landis reported in March 2007 that “Feltman has a most unusual arrangement with Secretary Rice; he has a weekly video conference with the Secretary – access of the like only the Ambassador to Iraq can boast.”