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Thomas Countryman

Chairman, Board of Directors

Arms Control Association

Thomas Countryman is Chairman of the Board of the Arms Control Association. The ACA is a nonpartisan NGO which analyzes key security issues and advises the executive branch, Congress and the public on choices to promote global security and reduce the risk that weapons of mass destruction will be used. He retired from the Senior Foreign Service in January 2017 after 35 years of service. At that time, he served simultaneously as acting Undersecretary for Arms Control and as Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation, a position he held since September 2011. The ISN Bureau leads the US effort to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. 

After serving in Belgrade, Washington and Cairo, he advised Ambassador Albright on Middle East affairs at the US Mission to the United Nations, and was Director for Near East affairs at the National Security Council. He directed State’s Office of South Central European Affairs, and was Minister for Political Affairs in Rome, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Athens (including five months as Charge d'Affaires), and Foreign Policy Advisor to the US Marine Commandant. Before ISN, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, with responsibility for the Balkans. Mr. Countryman graduated from Washington University in St. Louis (summa cum laude) in economics. He speaks Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, German, Italian and Greek. 

Baidoa, Somalia

Makeshift, temporary shelter made of plastic and clothing at a refugee center in Baidoa, Somalia.