Ambassador and Deputy Representative of the US to the United Nations (1997-1999)
Ambassador Peter Burleigh
About the Speaker
A. Peter Burleigh served as Ambassador and Deputy Representative of the United States to the United Nations from August 1997 until December 1999. He was Charge of the Mission from September 1998 to August 1999. Ambassador Burleigh represented the United States in the Security Council, the General Assembly, and at other major United Nations bodies. During his period in charge, the Security Council considered the Iraq, Kosovo, and East Timor crises along with many African issues.
Immediately prior to his New York post, Peter Burleigh served as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives (1995-1997). Ambassador Burleigh has held senior positions at the State Department including: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Personnel (1992-1995), Coordinator of the Office of Counter-Terrorism, with the rank of Ambassador (1991-1992), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (1989-1991); and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (1987-1989), with primary responsibilities for the Persian Gulf region. From 1985-1987 he headed the State Department office responsible for Iran and Iraq and, earlier in his career, he was deputy director for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates. He has served in United States embassies in Nepal, Bahrain, and India, as well as Sri Lanka.
Peter Burleigh was born in Los Angeles, California on March 7, 1942 and graduated from Hollywood High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University in 1963, majoring in anthropology and sociology. He served in the Peace Corps (1963-1965) in Nepal, doing community development work in the far west of that country. He is fluent in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, and Sinhalese.
Ambassador Burleigh joined the Foreign Service of the United States in 1967, after spending a year as a Fulbright scholar in Nepal. He is a member of the Asia Society, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the American Foreign Service Association. He retired after 33 years of service in August 2000. In October 2000, he was awarded the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service medal and in December 2000, he was designated for a Presidential Distinguished Service Award by President Clinton.
He became an Ambassador-in-Residence and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Miami in January 2004. Peter Burleigh lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.