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SUBJECT:            Ambassadorial Nomination:  Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)

POST:                  Republic of Côte d’Ivoire

CANDIDATE:       Richard K. Bell

Richard Bell is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, with experience in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.  He currently serves as the Charge d’Affaires of the American Embassy, Ndjamena, Chad.  Among other recent assignments he was Foreign Policy Advisor to the U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Niamey, Niger where, in the absence of an Ambassador, he led the Embassy as Chargé d’affaires for a year (2013 -2014).  Earlier, he was head of the Political and Economic Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Copenhagen, Denmark and served also as acting Deputy Chief of Mission there for seven months during his tenure from 2009 – 2012.  Mr. Bell further demonstrated his leadership skills as Team Leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, Salahaddin, Iraq 2008 – 2009 and as the Regional Coordinator for Northeast Iraq and Provincial Reconstruction Team Leader, Kirkuk, Iraq, 2005 – 2006.   Mr. Bell’s broadly-based experience, coupled with his recent in-depth exposure to current African policy issues during his time as Political Advisor at the Africa Command, make him an excellent candidate for U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire.

Earlier, Mr. Bell led the Political Section of the U.S. Embassy Kuwait.  He also served as the political officer with responsibility for the Africa portfolio at the U.S. Embassy, London, England.  Previously, Mr. Bell worked at the U.S. Embassies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Antananarivo, Madagascar, also as a political officer, adding to his in-depth knowledge of Africa.  Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Bell worked for Catholic Relief Services in Tunisia, Egypt, Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza, and Yemen.

Mr. Bell earned his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania in 1977.  He subsequently received a Master of Science in Management from Boston University’s International Program at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel in 1990.  He is the recipient of the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the Department of Defense and has received numerous State Department awards.  Mr. Bell speaks French, Arabic, and some Haitian Creole and Hebrew.

U.S. Department of State

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