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Ambassador (ret’d) Michael Pelletier was appointed as the founding Executive Director of the Aspire Initiative Endowed Institute for Global Engagement at the University of Houston on August 1, 2021.

Previously, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Madagascar and the Union of the Comoros from January 2019 through June 2021. Ambassador Pelletier retired as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of MinisterCounselor, having served as an American diplomat from 1987- 2021. Ambassador Pelletier oversaw professional tradecraft, orientation, and area studies training as Dean of the School of Professional and Area Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, United States Department of State. He also served at eight U.S. Missions overseas and in senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of State, including as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, India, and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs.

Ambassador Pelletier earned a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University, a Certificat d’Etudes Politiques from Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris, France, and a M.I.A. from Columbia University. He received thirteen senior State Department awards, including a Presidential Meritorious Service Award and the Linguist of the Year. Amb. Pelletier is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.

Ambassador Pelletier is on the Board of Amideast, a leading American nonprofit organization engaged in international education, training, and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Texas Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and the Public Diplomacy Council of America. He was named an honorary member of Phi Beta Delta, the honor society for international scholars.

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