William Walker (diplomat)

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William Walker
William Walker (diplomat).jpg
Born (1935-06-01) June 1, 1935 (age 84)
OccupationUnited States Foreign Service diplomat

William Graham Walker (born June 1, 1935) is a veteran United States Foreign Service diplomat who served as the US ambassador to El Salvador and as the head of the Kosovo Verification Mission.[1]

Political career[edit]

Walker was born in Kearny, New Jersey, and has served mostly in Latin America, notably Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, and on the Argentina desk at the US State Department.

From 1985 to 1988, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, with responsibility for relations with Central America and Panama. By coincidence, he shares his name with a historical soldier of fortune who in the 19th century attempted to conquer parts of Central America (and was ultimately executed). From 1988 to 1992, he served as Ambassador to El Salvador, he was the Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. between 1994 and 1997.

Yugoslav Wars role[edit]

In August 1997, Walker was named as a Special Representative of the Secretary General and was appointed to head the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES), he led a mission consisting of some 800 UN civilian and 2,500 military peacekeepers and administrators. The mission was responsible for overseeing the peaceful reintegration of this Serb-controlled region of eastern Slavonia into Croatia following the end of the Croatian War.

Walker was subsequently appointed to head the Kosovo Verification Mission, leading some 1400 international and 1500 local staff between October 1998 and June 1999 along with British Major General John Drewienkiewicz, Walker's military adviser;[2] this was a peacekeeping mission mounted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in an unsuccessful attempt to halt the ongoing violence in Kosovo. In 1999, following the Račak massacre, Walker was putting pressure on forensic experts headed by Finnish pathologist Helena Ranta to name the perpetrators of the massacre (Serbian security forces), thus way wanting justification in the international community for the later NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. On January 18, 1999, the FR Yugoslavia government made him persona non grata. A week later, on the intervention by European Council and Russian Federation, Prime Minister of FR Yugoslavia Momir Bulatović froze the decision;[3] the mission was discontinued following the end of the Kosovo War in June 1999.

On November 24, 2008, he became honorary citizen of Republic of Albania, the title given by President Bamir Topi.[4] On January 15, 2009, on the 10th anniversary of the Račak massacre, he was awarded the Golden Medal of Freedom by the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo.


  1. ^ "Ambassador William G. Walker". Hand of Hope Board of Trustees biographies. Archived from the original on 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-01-13.
  2. ^ Neely, Bill (23 January 1999). "Serbs rewrite history of Racak massacre". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  3. ^ "Presudili ruski predsednik i premijer". arhiva.glas-javnosti.rs (in Serbian). 25 January 1999. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  4. ^ http://www.president.al/shqip/foto.asp?id=6331 Archived May 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Edwin G. Corr
United States Ambassador to El Salvador
30 August 1988 – 21 February 1992
Succeeded by
Peter F. Romero
Chargé d'affaires ad interim