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Robert Mason

Robert Mason Beecroft retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2006 as a Career Minister-Counselor. Between 2009 and 2016, he returned to the State Department as a Supervisory Senior Inspector, leading inspections of U.S. diplomatic operations in Kuwait, Syria, Taiwan, Vietnam, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and four bureaus at Department headquarters. In 2011, he produced a report for the American Academy of Diplomacy on the professional education and training of American Foreign Service Officers. In 2015, he and the late Ambassador Princeton Lyman co-authored a paper for the U.S. Institute of Peace, analyzing the roles and effectiveness of U.S. special envoys in American diplomacy.

From 2004 to 2006, Ambassador Beecroft was a Professor of National Security Strategy at the U.S. National War College in Washington. In 2001-04, he served as Ambassador and Head of the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a staff of 800 civilian and military personnel from thirty countries. Earlier (1996-7), he served at U.S. Embassy Sarajevo as Special Envoy for the Bosnian Federation and Chargé d’Affaires. Other diplomatic assignments included: the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels; the SALT TWO U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms negotiations in Geneva; NATO military headquarters (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium; and the U.S. Embassies in Paris, Bonn, Cairo, Ouagadougou and Amman, the latter two as Deputy Chief of Mission. In Washington, he was Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Officer-in-Charge of Federal German Affairs, and nuclear arms control specialist in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He is a recipient of two personal and four group Superior Honor Awards.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Paris, the University of Strasbourg, and the Goethe-Institut in Munich, Amb. Beecroft served in the U.S. Army Reserve (1965-70) as a medical corpsman and Civil Affairs officer. His nonprofessional interests include travel, classical music (listening and performing) and U.S. Civil War history. He and the former Mette Louise Ording Ottesen, Ph.D., have been happily married vagabonds since 1966. As a volunteer and the co-founder of the Family Liaison Office at State, Mette has worked to safeguard and improve the quality of life of Foreign Service employees and their families worldwide. She has received a Superior Honor Award and other State Department citations for her work. Their two grown children, Christopher and Pamela, are also active in international affairs, with a focus on human rights and development.

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