Appointments | October 2019

Richard K. Bell – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire

Richard K. Bell (SFS) of Pennsylvania is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. Bell previously served as the charge d’affaires at Embassy N’Djamena. He served as a foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart; deputy chief of mission at Embassy Niamey—where he also served as acting chargé d’affaires from 2013-2014; and head of the Political and Economic Affairs Section at Embassy Copenhagen—where he also served as acting deputy chief of mission. Bell was also a political officer in London, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Antananarivo. He received a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University and an M.S. from Boston University’s International Program at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Bell speaks French, Arabic, and some Haitian Creole and Hebrew.

Kenneth S. George – U.S. Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay

Kenneth S. George of Texas is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. George served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1999-2003. He is a former president of Olix Industries and cofounded Epic Healthcare Group and also served as assistant secretary of commerce from 1981-1985. He is a former executive with Trammell Crow real estate development in Dallas and is a third-generation rancher. George received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University and his M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Philip S. Goldberg – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia

Philip S. Goldberg (SFS) of the District of Columbia is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia. Goldberg previously served as a senior Department of State fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. Goldberg has served in many leadership positions throughout his career, most recently as chargé d’affaires at Embassy Havana, ambassador to the Philippines, ambassador to Bolivia, chief of mission of the U.S. office in Pristina and assistant secretary of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Goldberg received a B.S. from Boston University. He speaks Spanish.

Ronald Douglas Johnson – U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of El Salvador

Ronald Douglas Johnson of Florida is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of El Salvador. Johnson was previously the CIA’s science and technology liaison to the U.S. Special Operations Command. He also served as special advisor and deputy special advisor to the commander at the U.S. Southern Command and a senior officer at CIA headquarters. Johnson served in the U.S. Army from 1984-1998 before retiring as a colonel. He also served in the Alabama National Guard. Johnson received a B.S. from the University of New York and an M.S. from the National Intelligence University. He speaks Spanish.

Christopher Landau – U.S. Ambassador to the United Mexican States

Christopher Landau of Maryland is the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Mexican States. Landau previously served as a partner of the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. He spent 25 years at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he headed the firm’s appellate litigation practice. In 2017, Landau was appointed to a three-year term as a member of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, which reviews the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Earlier in his career, he completed two clerkships in the U.S. Supreme Court and served on numerous boards. Landau received his B.A. from Harvard College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He speaks Spanish.

Jessica E. Lapenn – U.S. Representative to the African Union

Jessica E. Lapenn (SFS) of New York is the new U.S. Representative to the African Union. Lapenn has served as the chargé d’affaires at Embassy Pretoria since 2016. Previously, she was the executive assistant and chief of staff to the under secretary for civilian security, human rights and democracy and the deputy chief of mission at Embassy Kigali. Lapenn led the Office for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in the Bureau of International Organizations, and she served as the political advisor to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She joined the Foreign Service in 1994 and has served positions in Jeddah, Riyadh, Paris, Tbilisi, Baghdad and Jerusalem. Lapenn received a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.Phil from Cambridge University. She has studied French and Arabic.

W. Patrick Murphy – U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia

W. Patrick Murphy (SFS) of Vermont is the new U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Murphy previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs since 2016. Throughout his 26 years with the Department, Murphy has served in multiple leadership roles including deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in Bangkok, acting special representative and policy coordinator for Burma and deputy chief of mission at Embassy Maseru. He was a director and deputy director for Mainland Southeast Asia, a senior political advisor in the office of the special representative for Haiti, and served at positions in Mosul, Rangoon, Conakry and Guangzhou. Murphy received a B.A. from the University of Vermont, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an M.S. from the National War College. He speaks French, Burmese, Cantonese, and Spanish.

Richard B. Norland – U.S. Ambassador to Libya

Richard B. Norland (SFS) of Iowa is the new U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Norland most recently served as the foreign policy advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He previously served as ambassador to Georgia, ambassador to Uzbekistan, deputy chief of mission in Afghanistan and deputy chief of mission in Latvia. Norland joined the Foreign Service in 1980 and has served in many leadership positions throughout his career. He has served as the International Affairs advisor and deputy commandant at the National War College, as a director for European Affairs at the National Security Council and as a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Norland received a B.S. from Georgetown University, an M.A. from John Hopkins University and an M.A. from the National War College. He speaks Russian, French and Norwegian.

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