Robert White served as U.S. ambassador under different administrations. He currently is president of the Center for International Policy.
In 1980-81, he was posted in El Salvador during the first years of that country's brutal 12-year civil war. He was harshly critical of the Salvadoran government and accused the military and paramilitaries (widely alleged to have close ties) of committing widespread atrocities against civilians, many of which were later factually confirmed. He once called prominent military figure Roberto D'Aubuisson as a "pathological killer". D'Aubuisson was widely suspected of collaboration with death squad killings including the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero. He also accused José Napoleón Duarte, El Salvador's President from 1984 to 1989 of being a CIA asset
He was dismissed by the new Reagan administration in 1981. He claims that Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, pushed for his removal because he did not favor a military solution to the Salvadoran situation.