Richard S. Williamson

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Richard S. Williamson
Amb. Richard Williamson.jpg
17th Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
In office
February 5, 1988 – March 19, 1989
PresidentRonald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded byAlan Keyes
Succeeded byJohn R. Bolton
1st United States Ambassador to the United Nations International Organizations in Vienna
In office
May 17, 1983 – January 15, 1985
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byRepresentation established
Succeeded byBruce Chapman
Personal details
Richard Salisbury Williamson

(1949-05-09)May 9, 1949
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 8, 2013(2013-12-08) (aged 64)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Jane Williamson
ResidenceEvanston, Illinois
Alma materPrinceton University (A.B.)
University of Virginia (J.D.)

Richard Salisbury Williamson (May 9, 1949 – December 8, 2013) was an American lawyer, diplomat and political advisor. He previously served as Special Envoy to Sudan under George W. Bush.[1] Williamson was a partner at Winston & Strawn and was also Thomas J. Sharkey Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Seton Hall's Whitehead School of Diplomacy.

Early life[edit]

Williamson was born in Evanston, Illinois.[2] He received an A.B., cum laude, in 1971 from Princeton University. He received a J.D. in 1974 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was executive editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law.[3]


Williamson was also a practicing partner in the law office of Winston and Strawn. Earlier in the George W. Bush Administration, Williamson, who has broad foreign policy and negotiating experience, served as Ambassador to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs and in 2004 as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.[3][4] Williamson played a role in the slow resolution of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.[5][6]

Previously, he served in senior foreign policy positions under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, including as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs at the Department of State, and an Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs in the White House. In 1992, he was nominated by the Republican Party for United States Senate, but lost to Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun, the first black woman to be elected to U.S. Senate. In 1999, he was selected to serve as the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.[7]

Williamson was active in a wide variety of civic organizations, serving on the board of directors of the International Republican Institute; the board of the Committee in Support of Russian Civil Society; a member of the advisory committee for the International Human Rights Center at DePaul University, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Williamson also was the Roberta Buffett Visiting Professor of International Studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.[8]

Williamson authored seven books and edited three. He wrote more than 175 articles in professional and popular periodicals.


Williamson died of a cerebral hemorrhage at a Chicago hospital in 2013, aged 64.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Biography: Richard S. Williamson". US Department of State. Archived from the original on 2012-07-13.
  2. ^ Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents - Google Books. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  3. ^ a b "Front & Center with John Callaway: Iran - Pritzker Military Museum & Library - Chicago".
  4. ^ Worden, Minky (April 27, 2004). "Sudan's Silent Scream". The New York Sun.
  5. ^ "President Bush Meets with Special Envoy for Sudan Rich Williamson". 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  6. ^ "Congressman Frank R. Wolf : Sudan". 2009-03-04. Archived from the original on 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  7. ^ Doubek, Madeleine. "Rich Williamson will be little more than a public face for the GOP". Illinois Issues. Springfield, Illinois: Sangamon State University. p. 41.
  8. ^ "Buffett Center - International and Comparative Studies - Northwestern University". 2008-09-25. Archived from the original on 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  9. ^ Lester, Kerry (1999-04-15). "CHICAGO: Ill. GOP leader, envoy Rich Williamson dies at 64". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  10. ^ "Rich Williamson, former UN official, GOP Illinois Senate candidate, Romney adviser 1949-2013". 2013-05-17. Archived from the original on 2013-12-09. Retrieved 2013-12-10.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Alan Keyes
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
February 5, 1988 – March 19, 1989
Succeeded by
John R. Bolton
Party political offices
Preceded by
Judy Koehler
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from Illinois
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Peter Fitzgerald