President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Peter Michael McKinley as the next U.S. ambassador to Colombia, reports Semana.
McKinley has served as U.S. ambassador to Peru since 2007. He held the post of deputy chief of mission and charge d’affaires at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels from 2004 – 2007, and previously had similar roles in the U.S. embassies in Mozambique, Uganda and Belgium.
The career diplomat has also served in the U.S. embassies in London and Bolivia.
McKinley was born in Venezuela and grew up in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in the U.K., according to the website of the U.S. embassy in Peru, and has published a book about the colonial history of Venezuela.
The ambassador is a supporter of free trade deals; “Free trade in Latin America is critical to our relations with our hemispheric partners,” he said in 2008 while serving in Peru. “It’s also critical to the economic and security interests of the United States.”
While in Bolivia he met and married Fatima Salces Arce, with whom he has three children.
“He is a charming, serious, outwardly low key gentlemen,” according to the American and Canadian Association of Peru, and speaks French and Portuguese as well as Spanish.
If appointed, McKinley would replace William Brownfield, who has been ambassador to Colombia since 2007, after being ambassador to Venezuela.
“These dedicated and talented individuals will be valued additions to my administration,” said Obama, “I am grateful for their service and look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
The nomination awaits ratification by the U.S. Senate.