Richard M. Sanders

Senior Fellow, Western Hemisphere

Richard M. Sanders is a former member of the Senior Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. He writes and consults on international affairs, specializing in the Western Hemisphere. His work has been published by The National Interest, World Politics Review and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he is a Global Fellow affiliated with its Canada Institute.

He served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Mark A. Milley, 2016-18. Prior to that he served as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, 2013-14 and as Deputy Chief of Mission, 2014-16.

He served as the Director of the Department of State’s Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs from 2010 to 2013 and as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, 2007-10. Immediately prior to this assignment he served as Deputy Director of the Office of Mexican Affairs within the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the Department of State.

Earlier assignments include service as Consular Officer in Bogota, 1985-86, and as Economic Officer in Montevideo, 1987-88. He then returned to Washington as Deputy Public Affairs Officer for the Western Hemisphere Bureau, 1988-90, followed by international economic and commercial studies at the Foreign Service Institute, 1990-91. After undertaking assignments as Economic Officer in Santiago, 1991-94 and Madrid, 1994-1997, he served as officer-in-charge for Argentine affairs in the Department of State, 1997-1999. He returned to Bogota, as Deputy Political-Economic Counselor, 1999-2002. He served as Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas Venezuela, 2002-2005.

Mr. Sanders was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service in 2005. He has received the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award, as well as Meritorious Honor Awards and Meritorious Step Increases. In 2018 he received the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award. In 1997-98 he was selected as a State Department participant in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “Seminar XXI” program on “Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest.” In 2017 he participated in the National Defense University’s Capstone Course for General and Flag Officers.

He holds the degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania and of Bachelor of Arts from Trent University. He is married to the former Romy Barrera of Santiago, Chile.