Ryan Crocker

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Ryan Crocker, a Foreign Service Officer with the highest personal rank of Career Ambassador, served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from March 2007 to April 2009. He came to Iraq after being U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan from October 2004 to March, 2007. He served previously as the International Affairs Advisor at the National War College, where he joined the faculty in 2003.

From May to August 2003, he was in Baghdad as the first Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority. He was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2001 to May 2003, and served previously as Syria(1998-2001), reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in January 2002. He was Kuwait (1994-1997) and Lebanon (1990-1993).


According to Thomas Ricks, he opposed the Invasion of Iraq. He is not optimistic about the short-term future.

The best-case scenario is that Iraq isn’t going to look anything like a success to Americans. It’s not going to be democratic, it’s not going to be stable, and it’s not going to be pro-American. Ambassador Crocker predicts in the book that the future of Iraq is probably something like Lebanon today. Most of the other experts I’ve talked to consider that wildly optimistic.[1]

Early career

Earlier in his career, he served in Iran, Qatar, Iraq and Egypt. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings He grew up in an Air Force family, attending schools in Morocco, Canada and Turkey, as well as the U.S. He received a B.A. in English in 1971, and joined the Foreign Service.


Ambassador Crocker received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 1994, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service in 1997 and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award in 1999 and 2003. He also holds the State Department Distinguished Honor Award, Award for Valor, three Superior Honor Awards and the American Foreign Service Association Rivkin Award. He subsequently received the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for "exceptional courage and leadership" in Afghanistan.