Niels Marquardt was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Ambassador to the Republic of Madagascar and to the Union of the Comoros on March 26, 2007. On May 25, 2007, the Senate confirmed the nomination. He was sworn in on August 17, 2007.
R. Niels Marquardt previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon from 2004 to 2007 and as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea from 2004 to 2006. From 2001 to 2004, he served as the Special Coordinator for Diplomatic Readiness. In this role, he was responsible for coordinating the largest increase in State Department recruiting, hiring, and training in its history. A senior Foreign Service officer, class of Minister-Counselor, he also served in 1998-2000 as Director of the Department's Entry-level Counseling and Assignments Division in the Bureau of Human Resources.
Ambassador Marquardt's overseas assignments as an economic officer have taken him to Germany (1995-98), France (1990-94), Thailand twice (1981-83, 1987-90) and Brazzaville, Congo (1983-85). He also served domestically in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as a Country Risk Analyst at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Additionally, he attended the "Senior Seminar" and the Economic-Commercial Studies Program at the Department's Foreign Service Institute.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service in 1980, Ambassador Marquardt served from 1977 to 1979 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda. He graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 1975, from the American Graduate School of International Management in 1980, and from the National War College in 1994. His foreign languages are French, German, Thai, and Spanish. He is the recipient of several Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards as well as Presidential Performance Pay on four occasions.