Richard Boucher

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Richard Boucher

Richard A. Boucher (born 1951 in Bethesda, Maryland) is an American diplomat who was deputy secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 2009 until 2013. He took up post on November 5, 2009. Prior to joining OECD, he was the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, a post he took up on February 21, 2006. The Bureau of South Asian Affairs was expanded to include the nations of Central Asia shortly before his confirmation.


In 2005, Boucher became the longest-serving Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in the U.S. Department of State's history. He began his most recent tenure as spokesman for the State Department in May 2000 under Secretary Madeleine Albright and continued as spokesman throughout the tenure of Secretary Colin Powell and for Secretary Condoleezza Rice until June 2005. He has previously served as the department's deputy spokesman under Secretary Baker, starting in 1989 and became the spokesman for Secretary Eagleburger in August 1992 and for Secretary Christopher until June 1993.

Boucher’s early career focused on economic affairs, China and Europe. From October 1993 to June 1996 he served as ambassador to Cyprus, and from 1996 to 1999 he headed the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong as the consul general. He led U.S. efforts as the U.S. senior official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) from July 1999 to April 2000.

Richard Boucher with former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse

Since joining the Foreign Service in 1977, Boucher served in Taiwan, Guangzhou, the State Department's Economic Bureau, and on the China Desk. He returned to China from 1984 to 1986 as deputy principal officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, and then went back to Washington in July 1986, where he served in the State Department's Operations Center and as the deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal from 1973 to 1975.

Boucher is a foreign service officer with the personal rank of career ambassador, the highest rank obtainable by a foreign service officer, and was also the longest-serving assistant secretary for public affairs in the Department of State’s history.


Fluent in Chinese and French, Boucher obtained his bachelor's degree in 1973 at Tufts University in English and French literature and did graduate work in economics at the George Washington University. He is currently a senior fellow in international and public affairs at the Watson Institute at Brown University.


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Government offices
Preceded by
James Rubin
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs
January 5, 2001 – June 2, 2005
Succeeded by
Sean McCormack
Preceded by
Christina B. Rocca
Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs
February 21, 2006 – 2009
Succeeded by
Robert O. Blake, Jr.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Robert E. Lamb
United States Ambassador to Cyprus
Succeeded by
Kenneth C. Brill