Francis J. Ricciardone Jr.

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Francis Joseph Ricciardone Jr.
Francis Ricciardone ambassador 2010.jpg
President of the American University in Cairo
Assumed office
July 1, 2016
Preceded by Lisa Anderson
United States Ambassador to Turkey
In office
January 1, 2011 – July 7, 2014[1]
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Franklin Jeffrey
Succeeded by John R. Bass
United States Deputy Ambassador to Afghanistan
In office
United States Ambassador to Egypt
In office
August 2, 2005 – 2008
Preceded by C. David Welch
Succeeded by Margaret Scobey
United States Ambassador to the Philippines
In office
February 21, 2002 – April 3, 2005
Preceded by Michael Malinowski
Succeeded by Kristie Kenney
United States Ambassador to Palau
In office
February 21, 2002 – October 10, 2004
Preceded by Thomas C. Hubbard
Succeeded by Helen Reed-Rowe
Personal details
Born 1951 (age 65–66)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s) Marie Ricciardone
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Profession Diplomat

Francis Joseph Ricciardone Jr. (born 1952) is the current President of the American University in Cairo. Ambassador Ricciardone was the United States ambassador to Turkey[2] between 2011 and 2014.[3] Previously he was Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was also on leave from the U.S. Department of State as a guest scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace. He has served as U.S. Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt (2005–2008),[4] the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Palau (2002–2005). As a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, he received U.S. government and other organization awards for his work in foreign policy and program management, political reporting and analysis, and peacekeeping.

Ricciardone has extensive diplomatic experience with Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Jordan. He speaks fluent Arabic, Turkish, and Italian. He has served in two multinational military deployments: as chief of the Civilian Observer Unit of the Multinational Force and Observers in Egypt's Sinai Desert, and as political advisor to the U.S. and Turkish commanding generals of Operation Provide Comfort, based in Turkey and operating in Iraq. In Washington, Ricciardone directed the Department of State's 9/11 Task Force on the Coalition Against Terrorism and served as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's special coordinator for the Transition of Iraq (1999–2001). He also has served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and in senior management positions under the Director General of the Foreign Service and of Human Resources.

Early life and career[edit]

Ricciardone is the son of Francis Ricciardone Sr., a Seabee veteran of World War II.[5] He graduated from Malden Catholic High School in Malden, Massachusetts.

Upon graduation summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1973, he received a Fulbright Scholarship for teaching and study in Italy. He went to Iran as a teacher in 1976 where he taught at the Community School, Tehran, traveling widely in Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Middle East until he entered the Foreign Service in 1978.[6]

He speaks Italian, Turkish, Arabic and French.[7]

He has been named president of the American University in Cairo and assumed office on July 1, 2016.[8]

Foreign service[edit]

Nominated by President George W. Bush on July 25, 2005, and confirmed by the United States Senate on July 29, 2005, Ricciardone was sworn in as United States Ambassador to Egypt on August 26, 2005.

Ricciardone was Deputy Ambassador for the American mission to Afghanistan from May 2010.[9][10][11]

Ricciardone's nomination to be ambassador to Turkey stalled during 2010, and in late 2010, President Obama gave Ricciardone a recess appointment so he could begin serving. The U.S. Senate then confirmed Ricciardone in a voice vote on October 4, 2011.[12]


Ricciardone is married to Marie, a molecular biologist[13] who was educated and later taught in Turkish universities during her husband's service time in Turkey.[5] The couple has two daughters, Francesca and Chiara. Francesca was born in Turkey. Both daughters were schooled in Ankara for three years.[5]


  1. ^ "Former Chiefs of Mission between 1778 and 2010". Retrieved 14 November 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ "Francis Joseph Ricciardone Jr". US State Department. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ "US Senate confirms John Bass as ambassador to Turkey". Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Biography, Francis J. Ricciardone Jr.". U.S. Department of State. September 8, 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  5. ^ a b c "Testimony of Francis J. Ricciardone Ambassador-Designate to the Republic of Turkey July 20, 2010 Senate Foreign Relations Committee" (PDF). Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  6. ^ "News and Events". Csre Union. January 16, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Biography, Francis J. Ricciardone Jr.". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  8. ^ "Francis J. Ricciardone Named President of the American University in Cairo". American University in Cairo. March 2, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ Karen DeYoung (March 2009). "Hundreds of New Civilian Employees Proposed for Afghanistan". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  10. ^ James Bone and Tom Coghlan (March 2009). "US strengthens diplomatic presence in Afghanistan". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  11. ^ "Deputy Ambassador". Embassy of the United States Kabul, Afghanistan. June 13, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Senate Periodical Press Gallery". Senate. Archived from the original on May 2, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  13. ^ Kimberly Sheu (August 2, 2005). "Ricciardone '73 named ambassador to Egypt". The Dartmouth News. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert W. Fitts
United States Ambassador to the Philippines
Succeeded by
Joseph A. Mussomeli
Preceded by
C. David Welch
United States Ambassador to Egypt
Succeeded by
Margaret Scobey
Preceded by
James Franklin Jeffrey
United States Ambassador to Turkey
Succeeded by
John R. Bass
Preceded by
Thomas C. Hubbard
United States Ambassador to Palau
Succeeded by
Helen Reed-Rowe