Thomas M. Countryman

Photo of Thomas M. Countryman
Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
Term of Appointment: 09/27/2011 to present

Thomas Countryman, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister-Counselor, currently serves as Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, a position to which he was appointed on October 9, 2016. He simultaneously serves as Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), a position he has held since September 2011. The ISN Bureau leads the U.S. effort to prevent the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, their related materials, and their delivery systems. As Acting Under Secretary, Mr. Countryman advises the Secretary on arms control, nonproliferation, disarmament and political-military affairs.

Prior to his position as Assistant Secretary, he served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, and as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Since 1982, Mr. Countryman has served at U.S. embassies in Belgrade, Cairo, Athens and Rome. From 1994-1997, he was responsible for advising Ambassador Albright on Middle East affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and served as liaison with the UN Special Commission investigating Iraq’s weapons programs. From 1997 to 1998, Mr. Countryman served as Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the National Security Council staff, with responsibility for the region stretching from Morocco to Syria, and serving as the White House representative on Ambassador Dennis Ross’ peace process team.

From 2001 to 2005, he was the Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the American Embassy in Rome, Italy. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece from 2005 to 2008, including as the Chargé d’Affaires for five months in 2007.

Mr. Countryman graduated from Washington University in St. Louis (summa cum laude) with a degree in economics and political science, and studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His foreign languages are Serbo-Croatian, Arabic, Italian, Greek, and German.