Ricciardone ‘73 named ambassador to Egypt
By Kimberly Sheu
Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Francis J. Ricciardone, Jr. '73 was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last Friday as U.S. Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt.
At his hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 27 of this year, Ricciardone said that as Ambassador, he will "expect all members of the Mission to serve the American and Egyptian publics with exemplary courtesy, efficiency and integrity."
Riccciardone was born in Boston, and received his high school diploma from Malden Catholic High School. He graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and study in Italy.
In 1976, he worked as a teacher in Iran and afterwards traveled throughout Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Middle East until 1978, when he joined the Foreign Service.
His wife is Dr. Marie Ricciardone, a molecular biologist who researched Bilharzia at the US Naval Medical Research Unit in Cairo from 1986 to 1993. They have two grown daughters, Francesca and Khiara, who completed their studies at Cairo American College.
Ricciardone has won awards for both political reporting as well as policy and program management. In addition to English, he is also fluent in Italian, Arabic, Turkish, and French.
Ricciardone had concluded three years of service as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Palau just last May.
From March 1999 to early 2001, Ricciardone served as Special Coordinator for the Transition of Iraq, where he provided aid to Iraqis working to rebuild democracy as they anticipated the fall of the Iraqi dictatorship.
On Oct. 3, 2002 Ricciardone returned to his alma matter to deliver a lecture to Dartmouth students on the subject of the contemporary situation in the Middle East, entitled "Influencing the Morning After in Iraq." As well as discussing Middle Eastern politics, he also described his own experiences in the foreign services to students in attendance. Last year he headed the effort to organize a new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, preparing for the beginning of U.S. relations with the transitional Government of Iraq, which took office in June 2004.
He has served in Egypt twice, first as an embassy political officer from 1986 to 1989, and later as chief of the Civilian Observer Unit of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Desert, from 1989 to 1991.
As part of the Foreign Service, Ricciardone has served as political advisor to the U.S. and Turkish commanding generals of Operation Provide Comfort, a Turkey-based operation running in Iraq. He was also assigned two tours as Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d'Affaires in Turkey, from 1995 to 1999.
In Washington, he has worked for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and the Near East Bureau.