Friday, December 1, 2023
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Richard Olson retires from service

On behalf of the entire State Department, I congratulate Ambassador Rick Olson on his retirement after three decades of dedicated service to the country.

Rick is quite simply one of our most distinguished diplomats, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service who has been on the forefront of our work in the Middle East, Africa, and most recently in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He has brought extraordinary experience and leadership to the job of Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has played an invaluable role in consolidating the progress Afghanistan has made over the past 15 years, including the pursuit of an Afghan led reconciliation process. His commitment to fostering a strong and productive relationship with Pakistan has been a testament to his unwavering diplomatic service.

We need look no further than his broad range of assignments to understand Ambassador Olson’s lasting impact on U.S. diplomacy. In over 34 years of distinguished service, he has served as U.S. Ambassador to both the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at U.S. Embassy Kabul, and has held positions in Mexico, Uganda, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Iraq, NATO, as well as a number of leadership positions here in Washington.

On behalf of the American people and Department of State, I thank Ambassador Olson for his exemplary service to our nation, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors as he departs the State Department.

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