Dr. Riyad Insanally


Guyana’’s Ambassador to the United States

By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Dr. Riyad Insanally assumed the post on September 1, 2016, as Guyana’s Eighth Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America and Fourth Permanent Representative to the Organizaton of American States (OAS). He sees his mission as working to enhance Guyana’s bilateral relations with the US and raising Guyana’s profile as a responsible member of the hemispheric community, as well as helping to build bridges across the Guyanese-American Diaspora.

Ambassador Insanally is a career diplomat, having joined Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990. Prior to this posting, he was the OAS Representative in Trinidad and Tobago (2008-2016) and an Adviser to the OAS Assistant Secretary General, in Washington, DC (2006-2008).

Ambassador Insanally was a Senior Trade Adviser at the Guyana High Commission in London, and Commercial Representative of the Guyana Sugar Corporation, representing Guyana’s sugar interests in Europe (2004-2006). He was a 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 Guyana Foreign Ministry (1990-1997), specialising in multilateral diplomacy and regional integration issues. He was also a Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Guyana from 1981 to 1984.

Ambassador Insanally 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 married to Sarah and the couple have two children, Emily and Jamie.

Ambassador Insanally comes from a distinguished family of educators. His father, Sheik MD Insanally, taught Spanish at the University of Guyana for a number of years. In his letters of credence to President Barack Obama Ambassador Insanally paid tribute to his predecessor Ambassador Bayney Karran who has been posted to China. Ambassador Insanally spoke about the importance of bi-lateral and mutli-lateral relations with the United States and the role of the diaspora.

Ambassador Insanally said in part to President Obama, “Mr. President, as you are well aware, the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our two countries are further cemented by the presence in the United States of what is estimated to be the largest number of Guyanese living outside Guyana.

“Our diaspora is, thankfully, imbued with a self-defining dynamism that transcends nostalgia, the default mindset of the immigrant, using it, instead, as a powerful motivation to contribute to the ongoing development of our native land. My Government deeply appreciates this, and is accordingly, exploring possibilities for mobilising our diaspora in more systematic and structured modes.

“President David Granger and Second Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge have accorded me a high honour. With high honours come high expectations. I therefore give you my solemn assurance, as I gave them, that I shall do my utmost to live up to these expectations and, by so doing, advance the mutual interests of our two countries.

“Excellency, my tour of duty begins as your presidency draws to a close. Permit me to extend, on behalf of the Government and People of Guyana, sincere congratulations on all that you have accomplished thus far and very best wishes to you and your family for the next phase of your historic journey.”

Ambassador Insanally is a bridge-builder. He is affable, charming, assertive and erudite. He has a wealth of experience on the international stage. His mission is to work with all groups to build bridges and to put Guyana on the map in a positive way.

In the coming days we will see more of Ambassador Insanally in the community. He was recently in New York where he met with Persons of Guyanese Origin (PGO’s) and was a guest of the Guyana Cultural Association. Guyanese are lucky to have Ambassador Insanally as their representative in Washington. We wish him and his family all the best in the future.


  1. Articulate, erudite and scholarly Dr. Riyad Insanally brings a wealth of experience to his job as Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States of America.
  2. From left, Ms. Shanti Ammar (Remax 2000), Ambassador Dr. Riyad Insanally, Consul-       General Ms. Barbara Atherly and Dr. Dhanpaul Narine