Ambassador Michael Ranneberger
Ambassador Michael Ranneberger is a managing partner of Gainful Solutions, an international consulting company. During his distinguished diplomatic career, he represented the United States in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Following his graduation from Towson University with a double major in history and social science, he earned a Masters Degree in history at the University of Virginia and pursued work toward a doctorate before entering the Foreign Service. He served as Ambassador to Mali, Kenya, and Somalia. He was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, in which capacity he led policy development and implementation for the African region. Other postings included serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Paraguay, Mozambique, and Somalia. During the 1980s he was part of the team which negotiated the independence of Namibia and the withdrawal of Cuban forces from Angola.
As the Special Representative of the Secretary of State, he helped lead negotiations which resulted in the Sudan Peace Agreement of 2005. When crisis erupted in Kenya following the disputed presidential election at the end of 2007, Ambassador Ranneberger, working closely with African Union mediator Kofi Annan, was instrumental in ending the bloodshed and bringing about fundamental reforms through adoption of a new constitution in 2010. For those efforts, he was dubbed “Ambassador of Peace” by the Kenyan people. From 2011 until his retirement in 2016, he served as the State Department’s senior foreign policy adviser to three commanders of the U.S. Central Command, including James Mattis.
He is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, its highest, Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Department’s Anti-Slavery Award for his efforts to combat human trafficking, and numerous other recognitions. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Africa Nazarene University. As a Career Minister at the time of his retirement, he was one of the 35 highest ranked officers in the State Department.