He is a career diplomat who has served eight Presidents over the past four decades. He originally retired from government service in 1998, after which he spent three years as the President and CEO of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas in New York. Following the attacks of September 11th, 2001, Ambassador McNamara was asked to return to government service as the Senior Advisor for Counter Terrorism and Homeland Security at the Department of State until 2004.
During his government career he has held many senior positions in the Department of State and the National Security Council (NSC). In the 1980s he was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, NSC Director, and Ambassador to Colombia. Upon his return from Colombia in 1991 he served President George H.W. Bush as Special Assistant for National Security Affairs before returning to the State Department as Ambassador-at-Large for Counter Terrorism, and Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. In 1998 he was appointed the Special Negotiator for Panama.
Most recently, Ambassador McNamara has been an Adjunct Professor in the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Last Updated: Jan 15, 2008