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Director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy since July 1, 2022, David Satterfield was appointed by President Biden as the Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues on October 15, 2023.

Previously, he was appointed the U.S. Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa on January 10, 2022. In that role, he was charged with leading U.S. diplomatic efforts to address the interlinked political, security and humanitarian crises in the Horn of Africa.

Prior to his appointment, David Satterfield was U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. He also served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs from September 2017 to June 2019, and from July 2009 until August 2017 as the Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula. Other senior assignments with the State Department include as Coordinator for Iraq, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission in Iraq, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Chief of Mission in Cairo, and U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon.

His Middle East experience spans almost forty years and also includes assignments in Syria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and two tours in Lebanon. Ambassador Satterfield served as Director of Arab and Arab-Israeli Affairs in the Department of State and as Director for Near Eastern Affairs on the National Security Council Staff from 1993 to 1996, where he worked primarily on the Arab-Israeli peace process. He holds the rank of Career Minister and is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State Distinguished Honor Award, the Presidential Distinguished Executive Award, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the Department of the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Award. His languages include Arabic and French.

Ambassador Satterfield attended the University of Maryland and Georgetown University.

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