Ambassador Nathan A. Sales

Former Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights (acting), U.S. Department of State; and Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

Ambassador Nathan A. Sales is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. From 2017 to 2021, he served at the U.S. Department of State as Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights (acting). He oversaw nine bureaus and offices led by Senate-confirmed principals, with 1,300 employees and a combined foreign assistance budget of more than $5 billion annually, and the mission of preventing and countering threats to civilian security, including terrorism, mass atrocities, and violations of human rights and the rule of law. He also was Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, serving as the principal adviser to the Secretary of State on international counterterrorism matters and leading the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau. Before joining the State Department, Ambassador Sales was an attorney and a tenured law professor, practicing and teaching in the fields of administrative law, constitutional law, and national security law. His scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Senior Counsel in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. He clerked for the Honorable David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Duke Law School.

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