Ambassador Keith assumed the duties of Senior Vice President for Programming in late l997 after a career as a Foreign Service Officer with the United State Information Agency. He retired from USIA with the rank of Career Minister. At the time of his retirement, Ambassador Keith was Director of USIA’s Office of North African, Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, managing field operations, public diplomacy activities and budget for the Agency’s largest geographical bureau. From 1992 to 1995 he served as Ambassador to the State of Qatar. Previous assignments were Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs in Cairo, Senior Cultural Affairs Officer in Paris and various posts in the Near East and Brazil. In 1996 Ambassador Keith served as USIA representative to the interagency planning team charged with designing the reorganization of foreign affairs agencies.
Ambassador Keith has received two Presidential service awards and various individual and group superior and meritorious honor awards, including one for his work at the 1991 Middle East peace conference in Madrid. He is a Chevalier in the French Order of Arts and Letters, an honor conferred by the French government in recognition of his contribution to cultural and educational exchange between France and the U.S. Ambassador Keith serves as vice chairman of the Alliance for International Cultural and Educational Exchange and is on the board of the International Development Conference. He is currently president of the Association of Black American Ambassadors. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Keith is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a major in International Relations. Ambassador Keith served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965. He is married to the former Mireille Luc and has two grown children.