Ambassador Philip S. Kosnett (Ret.)

Photo of Ambassador Kosnett

Ambassador Philip S. Kosnett left the State Department in 2021 following a career representing the United States in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia focusing on international security and post-conflict governance. He developed a record of success as a strategist, negotiator, and leader of interagency and civil-military teams in conditions of peace and war.

Kosnett’s senior positions included Ambassador to Kosovo; Charge d’Affaires in Turkey and Iceland; and Deputy Chief of Mission in Uzbekistan. He served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan – as Coalition Provisional Authority administrator in Najaf province; Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander of Multi-National Corps-Iraq; Deputy Political-Military Counselor at Embassy Baghdad;  and Political-Military Counselor at Embassy Kabul. Kosnett also held political-economic, counterterrorism, and environmental diplomacy portfolios at U.S. missions in Japan and The Netherlands and served in policy and crisis management positions in Washington.

Since leaving federal service, Kosnett has taken on roles in consulting, policy analysis, education, and humanitarian action.  He has established the consultancy Kosnett Associates LLC (with his wife Alison Kosnett, a specialist in international development and governance); and affiliated with the DC-based Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA); North Carolina’s Montreat College; and the NGO AfghanEvac. Kosnett has appeared on BBC News, Sky News UK, and Voice of America as a commentator on events in Ukraine and Afghanistan. 

Among several writing projects, Kosnett is editor of the forthcoming volume Boots and Suits: Historical Cases and Contemporary Lessons in Military Diplomacy for Marine Corps University Press. He has also re-embraced his first calling, from student days, as a designer of conflict simulation games.

A graduate of Harvard, Kosnett has formally studied Turkish, Japanese, Dutch, and Russian and is self-taught in Pentagon dialect. He holds the State Department Superior Honor, Meritorious Honor, and Senior Performance Awards; the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service; the Department of the Army Medal for Outstanding Civilian Service; and the Republic of Kosovo Order of Dr. Ibrahim Rugova.