Riyad Insanally retired as Guyana’s Eighth Ambassador to the United States and Fourth Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) in June 2021, after assuming the post in September 2016. He received Guyana’s third highest award, the Cacique’s Crown of Honour (CCH), in the 2019 National Honours, for “long and distinguished service in the field of diplomacy and international relations”.
A career diplomat for 31 years, he specialised in multilateral diplomacy, regional integration issues and Latin America-Caribbean relations. Prior to his last appointment, he was the OAS Representative in Trinidad and Tobago (2008-2016); Adviser to the OAS Assistant Secretary General, in Washington, DC (2006-2008); Senior Trade Adviser at the Guyana High Commission and Commercial Representative of the Guyana Sugar Corporation, in London, representing Guyana’s sugar interests in Europe (2004-2006); Political Adviser to the first two Secretaries General of the Association of Caribbean States in Port of Spain, Trinidad (1997-2003); and a Senior Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana (1990-1997), where he served, inter alia, as Deputy Director for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Head of the CARICOM Unit and first National Liaison Officer to the OAS. He was also a Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages, at the University of Guyana, from 1981 to 1984.
He is currently a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Caribbean Initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Center for Latin America, a Fellow with the Caribbean Policy Consortium, and the Senior Caribbean Advisor at Transnational Strategy Group in Washington, DC. He is also an Associate of the University of Guyana Foundation; an inaugural member of the Global Advisory Council of The Presidential Precinct in Charlottesville, Virginia; and an Honorary Associate Fellow of the Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick, UK.
He studied Modern Languages and Latin American Studies, and holds MA and MPhil degrees from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from Harvard University. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and proficient in French.