Robert G. Houdek
Ambassador Houdek retired from the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in September 2007, and is currently working as consultant on African affairs (Africa Inquiry, LLC).. From October 1997.to September 2006, he served as the National Intelligence Officer for Africa. During his last year with the NIC, he was an advisor to the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis on the project to rebuild the capability of the African intelligence community.
Before joining the NIC, the Ambassador served as an advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Agency for International Development (AID) on the President’s Greater Horn of Africa Initiative. During the first half of 1997, he was detailed to AID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), serving as the negotiator on a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Eastern Zaire, working to separate legitimate Rwandan refugees from the genocidiares and repatriate them to Rwanda.
Ambassador Houdek was a Foreign Service Officer from 1962 to 1996. Among his many assignments, he served as the first US Ambassador to Eritrea (1993-96), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1991-93), Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1988-91), Ambassador to Uganda (1985-88), Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya (1980-84), and Deputy Director of the Office of West African Affairs. He also was on the White House staff from 1969 to 1971 as a Special Assistant to then National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger.
Ambassador Houdek received a B.A. from Beloit College in 1961, an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1962, and was a Mid-Career Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University (1971-72).
In 1991, Ambassador Houdek was awarded the President’s Exceptional Service Medal for his role in evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel in the last days of the Ethiopian civil war. His honors include several Presidential Service and State Department Superior Honor Awards. He currently serves as the Vice President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), representing the retiree community.