top of page


Robert S.

Robert S. Gelbard was born in New York City in 1944. He has a B.A. (history) from Colby College and M.P.A. (economics) from Harvard University. He also studied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After serving in the Peace Corps in Bolivia (1964- 66), he joined the Foreign Service in 1967. His overseas assignments have included Manila, Republic of the Philippines (1968-70); Porto Alegre, Brazil (1970-72) as Principal Officer; and Paris, France (1978-82) as First Secretary and Deputy Treasury Representative. In the State Department, he has worked on economic and financial issues in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and the Bureau of European Affairs, and served as Deputy Director for Western European Affairs (1982-84), and Director of Southern Africa Affairs (1984-85). Ambassador Gelbard was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South America from 1985-88 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs from 1991-93. He served as Ambassador to Bolivia from 1988-91.

Ambassador Gelbard has served as the United States representative to the Paris Club, was President Bush’s representative preparing for the San Antonio Summit, was a member of numerous United States Government delegations to the OECD and served on the U.S. delegation to the Conference on International Economic Cooperation (the North/South dialogue). He also was detailed part-time to the staff of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors in 1978. Ambassador Gelbard has received a Presidential Meritorious Award, the State Department’s Superior Honor Award, the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award, and in 2002 he received the State Department Distinguished Service Award, its highest decoration.

Currently, Ambassador Gelbard serves on the board of Directors at Foreign Policy for America. Ambassador Gelbard has served as a director of the L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. since September 2005. Ambassador Gelbard has been Chairman of Washington Global Partners, LLC, an international business consulting firm, since April 2005. Prior to that, he was a self-employed international business consultant beginning in October 2002. From March 2002 to September 2002, he was Senior Vice President of International Affairs and Government Relations for ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a global pharmaceuticals company.

bottom of page