<< view all Experts

Amb. Carey Cavanaugh


Professor, University of Kentucky; former U.S. Ambassador, Special Negotiator for Eurasian Conflicts, OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair

U.S. Ambassador (retired) Carey Cavanaugh is Professor of Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, where he also served as director for the past decade. His 23-year Foreign Service career was centered on peace mediation, political-military affairs, and humanitarian issues. In addition to assignments in Washington, DC at the State Department, Pentagon, and the Senate, Cavanaugh served in Berlin, Moscow, Tbilisi, Rome, and Bern. His final government assignment was as political advisor to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Mullen, later chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Cavanaugh has long been active in conflict resolution, helping advance for the U.S. peace efforts involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkey. In 1992, he established the first American Embassy to the new Republic of Georgia. He was later appointed Ambassador/Special Negotiator for Eurasian Conflicts. He also served as Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, hosting peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh in Key West, Florida. Cavanaugh is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and currently serves as a trustee of the London-based international NGO Conciliation Resources. He has worked with them and other NGOs on track-two efforts to engage civil society in supporting peace in the South Caucasus.

He holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Notre Dame.

In 2016, Cavanaugh is on sabbatical, dividing his time between GCSP and a fellowship at Cambridge University’s Clare College.