Robert Stephen Beecroft Appointed Ambassador to Iraq
Robert Stephen Beecroft has been nominated by President Obama to be the ambassador to Iraq. Beecroft, a Mormon, served as the ambassador to Jordon from 2008 to 2011. Robert S. Beecroft served a two-year mission in Venezuela for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are often called Mormons, when he was a young adult. He graduated with a B.A. from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkley. Brigham Young University is owned and operated by the Mormons. He was a lawyer prior to joining the Foreign Service.
He has served in the Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Executive Secretariat and at the U.S. embassies in Riyadh and Damascus. He has served as Executive Assistant to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and as Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Beecroft received the Department of State’s Meritorious, Superior, and Distinguished Honor Awards.
Beecroft has been running the embassy since 2011 and therefore is already in place. He must await confirmation hearings, however. President Obama has previously named two other former Mormon missionaries to ambassadorships—Matthew Tueller, also a BYU graduate, was ambassador to Kuwat and Jon Huntsman was ambassador to China and learned to speak Chinese while serving his Mormon mission.
In 2011, while serving as the Ambassador to Jordon, Robert S. Beecroft received the Diplomacy for Human Rights Award from the State Department. It was presented in recognition of his work in promoting and advancing human rights and democracy in Jordon. He said the award really honored all his staff, who worked together on the projects. Beecroft also credited his parents, who taught him to look for people in need and then to find ways to serve them. His father often taught him scriptures that made it clear God expects us to treat others well. When his junior high school was first integrated, his parents instructed him to find ways to make the new African American students welcome and to protect them—even physically if necessary. They explained to him the history of discrimination these people had faced.