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U.S. Department of State

Department Seal

Michael A. Sheehan
Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism

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Biography

Michael A. Sheehan took up duties as Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State in December 1998. He was confirmed by the full Senate on August 3, 1999, with rank of Ambassador at Large. His office has primary responsibility for developing, coordinating, and implementing U.S. counterterrorism policy. The office chairs the Interagency Working Group for Counterterrorism--to develop and coordinate policy--and the Department of State's task force--to coordinate responses to international terrorist incidents. It coordinates U.S. Government efforts to improve counterterrorism cooperation with foreign governments, including the policy and planning of the Department's Antiterrorism Training Assistance Program.

Previously Sheehan was a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs where he worked on UN reform and peacekeeping policy in the former Yugoslavia. From 1995 to 1997, he also served in the White House on the National Security Council staff. He was Director of International Organizations and Peacekeeping.

From 1993 to 1995, he was Director of Political Military Affairs and Special Counselor to Ambassador Madeleine Albright at the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York. During this period he also served on peacekeeping operations in Somalia and Haiti as a Special Advisor to the Representative of the UN Secretary General. From 1989 to 1993, Sheehan served two tours on the National Security Council staff. His responsibilities included counternarcotics, foreign assistance and peacekeeping.

Mr. Sheehan retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army in June 1997 to join the State Department. His overseas assignments in the military included duty as a Mechanized Infantry Company Commander on the DMZ in South Korea, as a Special Forces "A" Team Leader in Panama (in a counterterrorism unit), and as a counterinsurgency advisor in El Salvador.

Mr. Sheehan is a 1977 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, and has Masters Degrees from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (1988) and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (1992). He is also a graduate of U.S. Army Airborne, Ranger, and Special Forces courses and Colombian Airborne and Lancero (Commando) courses.

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Office of Counterterrorism | Biographies of Principal Officers | Department of State