Ambassador Kelly holds M.A. degrees in Development Economics from Stanford University (1994) and Latin American Studies from Georgetown University (1984). He received his Bachelor's degree from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service (1984). In 2003, the Department of State awarded Mr. Kelly the Herbert Salzman Award for Excellence in International Economic Performance for his work in Ecuador.
Mr. Kelly entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1985. Immediately prior to his appointment as Ambassador to Djibouti, he was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He has also served in U.S. Missions in San Salvador (1985-1987), Santiago (1990-1993), Paris (1994-1998), Quito (2000-2003), Vilnius (2004-2007), Buenos Aires (2007-2010), and São Paulo (2010-2011). In both Vilnius and Buenos Aires, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. Embassies in those capitals. In São Paulo, Mr. Kelly served as Principal Officer and Consul General in one of the world’s largest U.S. consulates. He also worked in the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (1988-1990) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (1998-2000).
Ambassador Kelly speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Lithuanian.