Kevin Whitaker served in the U.S. Department of State for 42 years, retiring with the rank of Career Minister. He was U.S. ambassador to Colombia from May 2014 to August 2019, the longest-serving ambassador to that country in a century. During that period, Colombia signed and implemented a historic peace accord. Ambassador Whitaker provided policy guidance for and directed the implementation of over $1.5 billion in assistance while in Colombia. Prior to this appointment, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South America in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Ambassador Whitaker served in the United Kingdom, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, where he was Deputy Chief of Mission (2005-07). In addition to numerous Superior Honor Awards, Ambassador Whitaker was granted a Presidential Rank Award in 2017, and in 2005 he won the Secretary’s Award for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy. A native of Virginia, Ambassador Whitaker received his degree from the University of Virginia. He is married to Elizabeth Whitaker, a former member of the Senior Foreign Service, and has three adult sons.