L. Craig Johnstone

Ambassador L. Craig Johnstone is the Deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Prior to taking over this position, he worked at The Boeing Company for more than five years as European vice president and general manager.

Ambassador Johnstone has extensive experience in both government and the private sectors. Appointed by President Clinton in 1994, he served as the Director (Assistant Secretary) for Resources, Plans and Policy in the Office of the Secretary of State for five years. Johnstone had oversight of the $20 billion International Affairs Budget and the policy planning of the International Affairs Agencies, including the Department of State. He remains a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of State.

Prior to his Administration appointment, he was Vice President for International Operations of the Cabot Corporation of Boston from 1989 to 1994. Concurrently he served as President of Cabot Plastics International based in Brussels, Belgium from 1991 to 1994 where he introduced Total Quality Management.

President Reagan appointed Johnstone to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America from 1981 to1985 and as U.S. Ambassador to Algeria from 1985 to 1988. While serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Johnstone was also the Interagency Coordinator of the Grenada Rescue Mission.

In his Foreign Service career, Johnstone served in the Secretariat Staff under Henry Kissinger and as part of the team that established the U.S. Field Mission in the Sinai Desert. He also served as China contact officer in the early days of U.S. relations with the PRC. His overseas assignments included Canada and Jamaica and a tour in France where he was the U.S./Vietnam negotiator. In 1975 he took a leave from government to lead a personally-funded, successful rescue mission for Vietnamese employees of the U.S. Government in the final days before the fall of Saigon. For his efforts, Johnstone received the William Rivkin Award. He also has been awarded the Junior Chamber of Commerce “Arthur Fleming Man of the Year” medal and over a dozen government and private sector awards.

Ambassador Johnstone received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland in 1964 and pursued graduate studies at the University of Maryland and Harvard. He has held fellowships at both the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and the John Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard.

He is married to Janet Buechel, a retired U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer, and has three children.