2017 Keynote: Kevin O'Reilly
Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Panama
Kevin O’Reilly became the Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Panama City, Panama, in July 2014. From June 2015 to February 2016, he served as the embassy’s Chargé d’ Affaires. A career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service, he has served in senior-level positions at the Department of State including Director of the Office of Mexican Affairs and Senior Director for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.
As Director for Mexican Affairs, he helped develop and implement the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue, a bilateral effort to promote economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness; as well as the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research to expand educational and economic opportunities for citizens of both countries. He served in Baghdad from 2011 to 2012, during the period in which U.S. military forces departed from Iraq, participating in an effort to help Iraq train its law enforcement personnel.
Mr. O’Reilly served as the White House’s National Security Council Director for North American Affairs from 2009 to 2011. While there, he helped develop the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border partnership, a bilateral effort to improve U.S. and Canadian public security and economic competitiveness. He also helped advance the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Group for the Mérida Initiative, developed to coordinate security cooperation, and U.S.-Mexico 21st Century Border Management efforts, a shared commitment to increase trade and enhance public safety.
During his career as a Foreign Service Officer, Mr. O’Reilly has also served at United States embassies in Mexico City, Mexico; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Jakarta, Indonesia. In Washington D.C., he has served in the Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, the Office of Southern Cone Affairs, and in various State Department staff positions.
From 2007 to 2008, he served as Director for Latin American Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of International Affairs. He has also served as a Pearson Fellow in the Office of Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois; and in the Pentagon as an Action Officer in the Western Europe and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Division, Strategic Policy and Plans (J-5), of the Joint Staff.
Mr. O’Reilly was born in Evanston, Illinois. He holds Masters of Arts degrees from the U.S. Naval War College and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Chicago. In 2001-2002, he was a fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI program in international security affairs. He and his wife Sandra have three children.