David D. Pearce, a 30-year veteran of the Foreign Service with long experience in the Middle East, assumed his position as Senior Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in July 2012. He will serve concurrently as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
Before that, Ambassador Pearce was the Assistant Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, one of five ambassador-level positions at the embassy. Prior to Kabul, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria from 2008 to 2011. He was also Chief of Mission and Consul General at the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem from 2003 to 2005.
Ambassador Pearce was born in Portland, Maine on June 9, 1950. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1972 and an M.A. in journalism from Ohio State University in 1973. He married Leyla Baroody of Beirut, Lebanon in 1978. The Pearces have two children.
He was a reporter and foreign correspondent for nearly a decade before joining the Foreign Service. From 1973 to1979, Pearce worked successively for the Associated Press in Ohio, the Rome Daily American in Italy, and United Press International in Brussels, Lisbon, and Beirut. He then moved to the Washington Post, serving as a copy editor on both the foreign and metro desks, and from 1980 to 1981 was a writer-editor in the book service of the National Geographic Society.
In January 1982 Pearce entered the Foreign Service, serving first as a vice consul and political officer in Riyadh. From 1984 to 1985, he was a watch officer in the State Department Operations Center, followed by a 1985-87 tour as a country desk officer for Greece. In 1987-88, he studied Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute field school in Tunis, then became chief of the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait. During the Gulf War, Pearce worked as a liaison officer with the Kuwaiti government-in-exile in Taif, Saudi Arabia. He returned to Washington in 1991 to become a special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
In 1992 to 1993, Pearce took sabbatical leave to write a book on diplomacy and the media, published by the Congressional Quarterly in 1994, and entitled “Wary Partners: Diplomats and the Media.” From 1994-1997, he was Consul General in Dubai and from 1997-2001 he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. From September 2001 to July 2003, he was Director of the Department of State’s Office of Northern Gulf Affairs, with responsibility for Iraq and Iran. In May-June 2003, Pearce served with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He was the Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the United States Embassy in Rome from 2005-2008. While in Rome, he served two excursion tours to Iraq, in March-April 2007 and September 2007-March 2008, as a senior adviser to Ambassador Ryan Crocker.