Richard H. Riley, a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, assumed his responsibilities as Deputy Chief of Mission for U.S. Embassy Oslo, Norway on September 17, 2018. He is a member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service and holds the rank of Minister Counselor. He most recently served as Assistant Chief of Mission for U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan, the largest U.S. Embassy in the world (2017-2018). Mr. Riley also served two previous tours of duty in Afghanistan, as Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) leader in Nangarhar Province (2011-2012), and in Kabul (2002).
Other senior U.S. Department of State leadership positions have included Deputy Chief of Mission for U.S. Embassy Sana’a, Yemen (2015-2017) and Principal Officer/Consul General for Atlantic Canada at the U.S. Consulate General in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (2012-2015). Richard served two tours of duty in Iraq, first as leader of the U.S.-Italian PRT in Nassiriyah Province (2006-2007), followed by service as the U.S. Senior Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights in Iraq (2007-2008) at U.S. Embassy Baghdad.
Additional assignments have included Deputy Director of the Office of Egypt & Levant Affairs at the Department of State, where he guided U.S. foreign policy in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon (2009-2010), and a senior academic year at the National War College at Ft. McNair, Washington D.C. (2008-2009), where he graduated with honors as a Distinguished Graduate.
Earlier overseas assignments included two tours of duty in the People’s Republic of China, first as Deputy Consul General in Chengdu, Sichuan (1994-1995), then as Senior Human Resources Officer for the China Mission at U.S. Embassy Beijing (2001-2004); U.S. Embassy London (1990-1992); U.S. Embassy Moscow (1988-1990); and U.S Embassy Kingston, Jamaica (1986-1988). Mr. Riley also helped establish and lead two new embassies following the fall of the former Soviet Union in 1991; first as Chargé d’Affaires at U.S. Embassy Tallinn, Estonia in the fall of 1991, then as one of the first diplomats at the new U.S. Embassy in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan in 1992.
Richard’s private sector experience includes four years as a Strategy Consultant for Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Hong Kong and PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in International Security Strategy from National Defense University, and a BBA from the University of Georgia, Athens. He has studied Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Pashto and received multiple Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor awards, as well as the Matilda Sinclair Award for Hard Language Study.
Richard is married to Cheryl Lynn Wong, a career Department of State official. They have one daughter who recently graduated from George Mason University in Washington, D.C.