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L. Bruce

A Minnesotan, Ambassador Laingen served in the US Navy in World War II and in the US Foreign Service from 1949 to 1987. His tours of service included assignments in Germany, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He served as the US Ambassador to Malta from 1977 to 1979. In mid 1979 he returned to Iran for a second tour as chargé d’affaires of the American Embassy before being held hostage in the Iran hostage crisis from November 4,1979 to January 20,1981.

Following his release, Ambassador Laingen served as Vice President of the National Defense University in Washington, DC until his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1987. He was Executive Director of the National Commission on the Public Service (the Volcker Commission) from 1987 until the Commission completed its work in 1990.

Ambassador Laingen serves on the boards of A Presidential Classroom for Young Americans, the Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, No Greater Love and the National Defense University Foundation.

In the fall semester of 1998 Ambassador Laingen held the Sol Linowitz Chair in International Relations at Hamilton College in New York teaching a seminar on the Iranian Revolution.

Ambassador Laingen holds the Award for Valor from the US Department of State, the Distinguished Public Service medal from the Department of Defense, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from St. Olaf College, the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, a Presidential Meritorious Award and the Foreign Service Cup.

He is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota, the National War College and has a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota. Ambassador Laingen has honorary degrees from Columbia College in Missouri, Hahneman University in Philadelphia, the Western University of Health Sciences and the University of Dubuque. Ambassador Laingen passed away on July 15, 2019.

He is the author of Yellow Ribbon: The Secret Journal of Bruce Laingen (1992).

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