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Richard Norland U.S. Special Envoy for Libya and Ambassador to Libya
May 12, 2021

ambassador NorlandOn May 12, 2021 the Department of State announced the appointment of Ambassador Norland as the United States Special Envoy for Libya to serve concurrently as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.  Ambassador Norland was confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Libya on August 1, 2019.  A career diplomat, Ambassador Norland most recently served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford.  Previously he served as U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Deputy Chief of Mission in Afghanistan and Deputy Chief of Mission in Latvia.  He has also served as the International Affairs Advisor/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.

Earlier in his career Ambassador Norland served as Political Counselor at the American Embassy in Dublin, Ireland (during the negotiation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement).  He also served as the U.S. representative and acting mission head on the CSCE Mission to Georgia, addressing conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and later visited Chechnya in a similar capacity.  He served as a Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, USSR (covering Soviet relations with the Middle East and Africa during the period of glasnost and perestroika), and later at the Pentagon’s Office of the Secretary of Defense (where he worked on policy issues following the break-up of the Soviet Union).  Other assignments included serving as the sole diplomat in Tromso, Norway (250 miles north of the Arctic Circle), and as Senior Arctic Official coordinating the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council.  He was also a Special Assistant (for African Affairs) to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Norway-Denmark desk officer, and assistant desk officer for South Africa.  His first tour was in Manama, Bahrain.

Ambassador Norland was born in Morocco, his parents’ first diplomatic assignment.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1980 Ambassador Norland worked as a legislative analyst in the Iowa House of Representatives.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, with Masters’ Degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and the National War College.  He is a recipient of the 2010 Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award presented by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and numerous Superior Honor and Senior Performance awards. He speaks Russian, French, and Norwegian, and has studied introductory Arabic and Latvian. He and his wife Mary Hartnett have two children and five grandchildren.