Ambassador Riyad Insanally is a senior fellow at the Caribbean Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. He was Guyana’s ambassador to the United States and permanent representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) from September 2016 to June 2021. He was also previously Guyana’s nonresident ambassador-designate to Mexico. Ambassador Insanally was a career diplomat for over thirty-one years and received Guyana’s third-highest award, the Cacique’s Crown of Honour in 2019 for his “long and distinguished service in the field of diplomacy and international relations.”

As Guyana’s ambassador to the United States and permanent representative to the OAS, he served as chair of the Caribbean Community’s Caucus of Ambassadors; chair of the Caucus’s Sub-committee on Energy; chair of the OAS Permanent Council; chair of the OAS Inter-American Council for Integral Development; chair of the working group responsible for preparing an institutional strengthening proposal for the OAS; chair of the OAS Retirement and Pension Committee; and vice chair of the OAS Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs.

Ambassador Insanally is currently an associate of the University of Guyana Foundation, an inaugural member of the Presidential Precinct’s Global Advisory Council in Charlottesville, Virginia, and an honorary associate fellow of the Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick, UK.

Prior to his appointment as ambassador, he was the OAS representative in Trinidad and Tobago from 2008 to 2016; advisor to the OAS assistant secretary general, in Washington, DC, from 2006 to 2008; senior trade advisor at the Guyana High Commission in London and commercial representative of the Guyana Sugar Corporation from 2004 to 2006; political advisor to the first two secretaries general of the Association of Caribbean States in Port of Spain, Trinidad, from 1997 to 2003; and a senior foreign service officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana from 1990 to 1997. He was also a lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Guyana from 1981 to 1984.

A winner of a Guyana scholarship in 1977, Ambassador Insanally studied modern languages and Latin American studies, and obtained 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.