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U.S. Department of State

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John R. Bass

Photo of John R. Bass
Executive Secretary
Term of Appointment: 10/01/2009 to present

Ambassador John R. Bass is now the Executive Secretary of State. The biography below will be updated as soon as possible. 

Previously, Ambassador Bass served as U.S. Ambassador to Georgia from October 1, 2009 to July 2012.

Ambassador Bass, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, led the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team from 2008-2009. From 2005-2008, Bass served as Director of the State Department Operations Center. During his tenure, the Operations Center led State's response to over 25 crises, including coordinating international assistance in response to Hurricane Katrina and orchestrating the largest U.S. government evacuation of American citizens in sixty years. From 2004-2005, Bass was a special advisor to Vice President Cheney, offering advice on developments and policy in Europe and Eurasia. From 2002-2004, he served at Embassy Rome, coordinating engagement with the Italian government and civil society on human rights, immigration, trafficking-in-persons and labor market reform.

From 2000-2001, Bass was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, coordinating policy and operational planning for discussions with the Russian Federation on strategic arms reductions. As Talbott's special assistant for Europe and Eurasia (1998-2000), Bass was a member of the U.S. negotiating team that brokered a settlement to the war in Kosovo on NATO's terms and shaped the composition and command arrangements for a peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

Bass also worked extensively on U.S. policies and initiatives to persuade Russia to accept U.S. missile defense systems, to curb weapons and technology proliferation and to reduce conventional armaments in Europe.

Prior assignments at the State Department include work on Turkey, Cyprus, the Benelux countries, and NATO-Russia negotiations. Other foreign assignments include tours in Embassies Brussels and Ndjamena. Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1988, Bass worked as a newspaper editor and as a political campaign consultant. Bass was born and raised in upstate New York, and is a graduate of Syracuse University. He speaks Italian and French.

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