Ambassador Michael (Mike) A. Hammer was confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on September 6, 2018. He had been serving as the Acting Senior Vice President of the National Defense University (NDU). He previously served as the Deputy Commandant of NDU’s Eisenhower School and was additionally dual-hatted as the Vice Chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs.
Ambassador Hammer is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service class of Minister-Counselor. He most recently served as U.S. ambassador to Chile from 2014-2016. He began his diplomatic career in 1988. Prior to his appointment in Chile, Ambassador Hammer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from March 2012 to August 2013. He also served as Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.
Before joining the Bureau of Public Affairs, Ambassador Hammer served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Director for Press and Communications, and National Security Council Spokesman from January 2009 to January 2011. He previously served at the National Security Council as Deputy Spokesman from 1999 to 2000 and as the Director of Andean Affairs from 2000 to 2001.
Ambassador Hammer’s overseas postings include Bolivia, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark. His other State Department assignments include the Operations Center and serving as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Ambassador Hammer has received several awards, including the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Department’s Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, and several Superior Honor awards.
Ambassador Hammer earned a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He also earned Master’s degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and from the National War College at the National Defense University.
Ambassador Hammer grew up in Latin America, living in Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. He is fluent in Spanish and speaks French and Icelandic. Ambassador Hammer and his wife Margret Bjorgulfsdottir have three children.