Ambassador Planty is an independent consultant providing strategic advice to governments and private companies on international issues and challenges. He is a former career Ambassador and member of the Senior US Foreign Service.
In the government sector, Ambassador Planty specializes on international security issues, both in Washington and abroad, drawing on his four decades of experience dealing with global governance and security. He is an expert on security sector reform (SSR) and the rule of law. Ambassador Planty has worked on SSR and rule of law projects in Egypt, Spain, Guatemala, Guyana and Afghanistan and has advised the Syrian opposition to the Assad regime on SSR issues.
In the private sector, Ambassador Planty advises companies on the political risk associated with foreign investments and helps companies manage issues and problems encountered in the international arena with a particular focus on compliance with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
From 2008-10, Ambassador Planty was Chair of the International Relations Program and Professor of Practice at the Maxwell School of Public Policy, Syracuse University. Prior to becoming Chair, he was Adjunct Professor at the Maxwell center in Washington, DC 2006-08. Ambassador Planty has also lectured at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and is a visiting professor at Washington College.
Ambassador Planty was Senior Managing Director at Manatt Jones Global Strategies (2001-2003) and from 2003-4 he was Chairman of the Board of the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP), an industry sponsored organization dedicated to establishing workplace standards in apparel factories around the world. From 1999-2001, he served as the Executive Director of Caribbean/Latin American Action (C/LAA), a non-profit organization that promotes economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
From 1996-99, Don Planty was the U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala. As Ambassador to Guatemala, he facilitated the historic 1996 Peace Accords that ended four decades of internal conflict in that country. He is an expert on conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction and European security issues. In addition to Guatemala, Ambassador Planty’s Foreign Service career included assignments in Panama, Chile, Mexico, Norway, Italy, Spain and Washington, D.C.
During 1995, Ambassador Planty was the US Delegate to the Four Guarantor Powers Group (Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the United States) that negotiated an end to the Ecuador-Peru border war.
From 1981-83 and again from 1986-89, Ambassador Planty helped negotiate the Treaty of Friendship, Defense and Cooperation between the U.S. and Spain and was awarded the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on the negotiations. Ambassador Planty was a Political-Military Officer and is considered one of the foremost experts on Spain and most experienced military base rights negotiators.
Ambassador Planty was Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Norway, 1989-92. During this period, he managed the US-Norwegian defense and security relationship and NATO’s adjustment to the fall of Communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
In 1983, Ambassador Planty negotiated the historic agreement to restore diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Vatican and served as the first US Deputy Chief of Mission to the Holy See.
Ambassador Planty is a regular contributor to the Latin American Advisor, a daily current affairs publication of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, D.C. and is a frequent commentator on CNN.
Ambassador Planty also has extensive Washington experience and is familiar with domestic issues and institutions, including the U.S. Congress. From 1978-79, he was a legislative assistant to Senator John H. Chafee (R-RI). After his stint in Senator Chafee’s office, the Ambassador worked as legislative management officer in the Bureau of Congressional Relations at the Department of State. He was a staff assistant for operations in the Executive Secretariat of the Secretary of State from 1977-78.
- University of New Mexico, MA, Political Science, 1970.
- Fordham University, AB, Inter-American Relations and Culture, 1966
- Catholic University of Chile, Certificate of Study, 1964
Representative Speeches and Publications
- Security Sector Transformation in the Arab Awakening, US Institute of Peace, Special Report, September 2012
- Guatemala: A Case Study in Conflict Resolution, Syracuse University
- Regional Integration in the Caribbean, Global Affairs Institute, Syracuse University
- The Guatemalan Peace Process, Global Affairs Institute, Syracuse University; Police Reform in Afghanistan, US Institute of Peace, February 2013
- Board Member, Center for Latin American Studies, George Washington University
Honors and Awards
- Superior Honor Award, Department of State, 1982
- Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, Department of the Army, 1999
- Order of the Quetzal, Grand Cross, Guatemala, 1999
- Order of San Martin, Grand Cross, Argentina, 1996