James A. Larocco joined the NESA Center in August 2009, after serving more than 35 years as a diplomat. During the past 15 years, he held key leadership assignments related to the Near East region, including Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), 2004-2009; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East, 2001-2004; U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, 1997-2001 and Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge D’Affaires in Tel Aviv, 1993-1996. His earlier postings included assignments as Minister-Counselor for Economic affairs in Beijing; Director of the American Institute in Taipei, Taiwan; Deputy Director of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh Affairs at the State Department in Washington and key positions in American embassies in Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. He left the Foreign Service with the personal rank of Career Minister, which equates in U.S. military terms to Lieutenant General. During his career, he received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Award, personally presented to him by then Secretary of State Colin Powell.
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