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Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Electronic Information and Publications Office > Biographies > Biographies Listed Alphabetically by Last Name 
Picture of C. David WelchBIOGRAPHY

C. David Welch
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Term of Appointment: 03/18/2005 to present

C. David Welch was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs on March 18, 2005.

Mr. Welch was U.S. Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt from August 2001 to March 2005.

From October 1998 to August 2001, Mr. Welch served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. The IO Bureau develops and implements U.S. policy in the United Nations and other international organizations.

A career Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Welch served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. In that position he played a leading role in implementing U.S. policy toward Iran, Iraq, and Libya, while serving as manager of one of State�s key regional bureaus. To this end, Mr. Welch negotiated a cease-fire between warring Kurdish parties in northern Iraq, including by traveling personally to northern Iraq in the aftermath of heavy fighting there in 1996-97.

He was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 1992-95. In the absence of an Ambassador, he served there for two years (1992-94) as Charge d�Affaires. During his tenure in Saudi Arabia, U.S. business involvement increased significantly, with major successes in aircraft, telecommunications, and electricity generation. Prior to his assignment to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Welch was Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the Department of State (1991-92) and was a member of the National Security Council staff at the White House 1989-91.

During the 1980s, Mr. Welch served in key positions involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace process. From 1986 to 1988, he served as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan and from 1984 to 1986, as Chief of the Political Section in Damascus, Syria. Prior to these assignments, he was the officer responsible for Syria (1981-82) and Lebanon (1982-83) in Washington.

From 1979 to 1981, Mr. Welch was a political officer in the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. In 1979, the staff of the Embassy was given a Group Valor Award after the Embassy was attacked and burned by a mob and four staff members were killed. From 1977 to 1979, he served in the Office of the Under Secretary for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology.

Mr. Welch earned a Master�s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. In 1975 he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He also studied at the London School of Economics, 1973-74.

Mr. Welch has received several awards from the State Department for exceptional service. He speaks Spanish and Arabic, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Foreign Service Association.

Mr. Welch was born in Munich, Germany in 1953 to parents who were also in the Foreign Service and lived with them in Germany, Brazil, Morocco, Ecuador and Mexico.

Released on March 25, 2005
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