Burma’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Kyaw Myo Htut?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Kyaw Myo Htut presented his credentials as ambassador to the United States from Myanmar (formerly Burma) on December 3, 2013. It’s the second ambassadorial posting for Kyaw, who until 2008 was a soldier in his country’s armed forces.

 

Kyaw was born in 1957, and spent part of his childhood in Washington when his father was military attaché in the Burnese embassy. Kyaw joined his country’s military in 1981 and worked his way up, eventually rising to the rank of colonel. He graduated from his country’s Defense Services Academy with a master’s degree in defense studies in 2006.

 

In 2008, Kyaw was plucked from the army and put into his country’s foreign ministry. He didn’t wait long for a big assignment; he was sent that year to Geneva, Switzerland, as Burma’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations mission there. Kyaw was put in the position of defending his government against European Union criticisms of its treatment of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyu.

 

Kyaw was named ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2011. While in that post, he played a role in getting most European Union sanctions against Burma for its human rights violations lifted. During his assignment to the Court of St. James, Kyaw was also accredited as ambassador to Sweden and Norway. He left London upon being named to the Washington job.

 

As ambassador to the United States, a big part of Kyaw’s job is to push for more U.S. investment in his country despite continuing human rights problems.

 

Kyaw is married to Khin Myint Kyi.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Former Military Man Becomes Myanmar’s Reluctant Ambassador (by Larry Luxner, Washington Diplomat)

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