Insulin resistance and diabetes can develop spontaneously with obesity and aging in rhesus monkeys, highly similar to the natural history of obesity, insulin resistance, and progression to type 2 diabetes in humans. The current studies in obese rhesus were undertaken to assess hepatic and adipose contributions to systemic insulin resistance-currently, a gap in our knowledge-and to benchmark the responses to pioglitazone (PIO). A two-step hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp, with tracer-based glucose flux estimates, was used to measure insulin resistance, and in an intervention study was repeated following 6 wk of PIO treatment (3 mg/kg). Compared with lean healthy rhesus, obese rhesus has a 60% reduction of glucose utilization during a high insulin infusion and markedly impaired suppression of lipolysis, which was evident at both low and high insulin infusion. However, obese dysmetabolic rhesus manifests only mild hepatic insulin resistance. Six-week PIO treatment significantly improved skeletal muscle and adipose insulin resistance (by ~50%). These studies strengthen the concept that insulin resistance in obese rhesus closely resembles human insulin resistance and indicate the value of obese rhesus for appraising new insulin-sensitizing therapeutics.