Ambassador Michael Ratney was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on March 21, 2023. In Saudi Arabia, Ambassador Ratney leads a team of over a thousand Americans, Saudis, and 20 other nationalities in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dhahran. As a career Senior Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Ratney’s career has taken him on assignments abroad and to Washington, DC. In recent years, he was the Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of State’s training center, the Foreign Service Institute, where he had also been Dean of the State Department’s School of Language Studies. He was Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in 2021, and earlier served on the faculty of the National Defense University.
Ambassador Ratney was the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria from 2015 to 2018, and also served as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Levant and Israel and Palestinian Affairs. He was the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem from 2012 to 2015, where he was responsible for U.S. relations with Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem. He has been Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Media, overseeing a network of State Department media hubs throughout the world, and was Spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
Other assignments across his career of more than 30 years include Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Doha, as well as tours in Mexico City, Baghdad, Beirut, Casablanca, and Bridgetown.
Ambassador Ratney earned a BS from Boston University, and an MA from the George Washington University. He is the recipient of multiple State Department performance awards, including six Senior Foreign Service Performance awards and a Presidential Meritorious Service award. Ambassador Ratney speaks Arabic and French.