Michael Guest was America's first openly gay, Senate-confirmed Ambassador (to Romania, 2001-04). He ended his 26-year diplomatic career in December 2007 after having sought, without success, to end the State Department's discriminatory treatment of the partners of gay and lesbian Foreign Service Officers in foreign postings.
Mr. Guest's career focused on European policy, with emphasis on using rule of law, individual and collective rights, and anti-corruption measures to anchor Europe's new democracies. His assignments included executive-level duties as Dean of the Leadership and Management School; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs; Deputy Chief of Mission in the Czech Republic; and Deputy Executive Secretary. Among other earlier responsibilities, he served as White House Assistant Press Secretary and as a member of U.S. delegations to bilateral arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union and to the "Two-Plus-Four" talks that led to Germany's unification.
Mr. Guest's numerous awards include a Leadership Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the State Department's Christian A. Herter Award, given to a Senior Foreign Service Officer in recognition of intellectual courage, initiative, and integrity in the context of constructive dissent.
Mr. Guest holds an MA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a BA in History and Political Science from Furman University. He and his partner, Alexander Nevarez, reside in Sonoma County, California.