The East African nation of Ethiopia will soon have an ambassador from the U.S. who has specialized in relations with Africa for 20 of the 24 years of his career. Michael A. Raynor, nominated by President Donald Trump on May 22, 2017, is currently director of the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources at the State Department.
Born in 1962, Michael Arthur Raynor earned a B.A. in International Affairs in 1984 at Lafayette College and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University in 1986. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service who joined in 1988, Raynor had several early career foreign postings, including service as general services officer at the U.S. embassy in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, and consular officer at the embassy in Luxembourg.
He later served as management officer at the embassies in Djibouti City, Djibouti; Conakry, Guinea; and Windhoek, Namibia. Raynor has also served at several desk positions, including desk officer for Zimbabwe, and legislative management officer and special assistant in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs.
From 2004 to 2008, Raynor was the management counselor at the U.S. embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe.
He then served as deputy executive director of the African Affairs Bureau from 2008 to 2010, and as executive director from 2010 to December 2011. As executive director, he wrote to the State Department inspector general regarding the tragic attack on the State Department compound in Benghazi, Libya. Raynor wrote that a federal law requiring the Department to hire foreign security based on the lowest cost bidder, “often results in poorly paid and motivated guards,” which not only raises security risks but also “undercuts our Missions’ broader engagement in championing human rights.”
Raynor served his first ambassadorship in Porto Novo, Benin, from September 13, 2012 to May 29, 2015. While in Benin, Raynor became the victim of an email scam in which con artists sent an email purporting to be from him as ambassador to Benin.
Since 2015, Raynor has been director of the Office of Career Development and Assignments.
Raynor and his wife, Kathleen (McCann) Raynor, have two children, Bradley and Emma. He speaks Italian and French.