Katherine Hubay Canavan (formerly Peterson) was a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State for more than 35 years. She retired after a distinguished career in November 2011, with the rank of Career Minister, the second highest in the Foreign Service. Since retiring, she has supported a number of military exercises and courses as a subject matter expert, particularly those which emphasize comprehensive, non-combat approaches incorporating various U.S. Government agencies, international and non-governmental organizations.
In her last posting (2008-2011), she served as the Civilian Deputy and Foreign Policy Advisor to ADM James G. Stavridis, the Commander of the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. Prior to that, Ms. Canavan served as United States Ambassador to Botswana (2005-2008), Director of the Foreign Service Institute (2001-2005), and Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho (1998-2001).
Following her entry into the Foreign Service in 1976, Ms. Canavan served in a number of positions in Washington as well as overseas, including as Deputy Chief of Mission in Windhoek, Namibia (1993-1996), Chief of American Citizen Services in Tijuana, Mexico (1987-1990), and Non-immigrant Visa Chief in Kingston, Jamaica (1979-1981). Prior to entering the Foreign Service, she spent three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz and attended the National War College (Class of 1993). She lives in South Carolina with her husband, Lieutenant General Mike Canavan, U.S. Army, retired.