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David Pearce

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David Pearce (1950-) is a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and specialist in the Middle East, who became U.S. Ambassador to Algeria in August 2008. His previous assignment was as a senior advisor to U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, where he was a planner of the "Surge" to improve Iraqi security.


From September 2001 to July 2003, he was Director of the Department of State’s Office of Northern Gulf Affairs, with responsibility for Iraq and Iran. In May-June 2003, Ambassador Pearce served with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.

While assigned to the Rome embassy, he served two excursion tours to Iraq, in March-April 2007 and September 2007-March 2008, as a senior adviser to Ambassador Ryan Crocker. With COL H. R. McMaster, he led the Joint Strategic Assessment Team that planned the Surge, which began in January 2007.

Previous diplomatic assignments

In 1992-93, he took sabbatical leave to write a book on diplomacy and the media. From 1994-97, he was Consul General in Dubai and from 1997-2001 he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria. He was Chief of Mission and Consul General at the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem, Israel from September 29, 2003 through July 2005, and then Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy from 2005-2008.

Gulf War

During the Gulf War, Ambassador Pearce worked as a liaison officer with the Kuwaiti government-in-exile in Taif, Saudi Arabia. He returned to Washington in 1991 to become a special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Early career

Ambassador Pearce entered the Foreign Service in January 1982, serving first as a vice consul and political officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. From 1984 to 1985, he was a watch officer in the State Department Operations Center, followed by a 1985-87 tour as a country desk officer for Greece. In 1987-88, he studied Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute field school in Tunis, Tunisia then became chief of the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.

Prior background

Before to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1982, he was a reportert. From 1973-79, he worked for the Associated Press in Ohio, the Rome Daily American in Italy, and United Press International in Brussels, Lisbon, and Beirut. He then moved to the Washington Post, as a copy editor, and from 1980 to 1981 was a writer-editor for the National Geographic Society.

Ambassador Pearce received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1972 and an M.A. in journalism from Ohio State University in 1973. He has been married since 1978 to the former Leyla Baroody. The Pearces have two children: Jennifer and Joseph, who is studying for a master’s degree in Arabic studies at Georgetown University.