Ronald E. Neumann
President, American Academy of Diplomacy
Formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ronald E. Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Mr. Neumann, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s political/military liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions.
Prior to working in Iraq, he was Ambassador in Manama, Bahrain (2001-2004), Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (1997-2000) with responsibility for North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Ambassador to Algeria (1994 to 1997). He was Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq; 1991 to 1994). Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Sanaa in Yemen, Principal Officer in Tabriz, Iran and Economic/Commercial Officer in Dakar, Senegal. His previous Washington assignments include service as Jordan Desk officer, Staff Assistant in the Middle East (NEA) Bureau, and Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs.
Ambassador Neumann is the author of The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan (Potomac Press, 2009), a book on his time in Afghanistan. He has returned to Afghanistan repeatedly and is the author of a number of monographs, articles, and editorials. His writings have focused most heavily on Afghanistan, stabilization, and Bahrain. At the Academy he has focused particularly on efforts to expand State and USAID personnel and upgrade their professional formation to enable these institutions to carry out their responsibilities. Ambassador Neumann is on the Advisory Committee of a non-profit working in Afghanistan, the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA). He is on the board of the Middle East Policy Council.
Ambassador Neumann speaks some Arabic and Dari as well as French. He received State Department Superior Honor Awards in 1993 and 1990. He was an Army infantry officer in Viet Nam and holds a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. In Baghdad, he was awarded the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. He earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in political science from the University of California at Riverside. He is married to the former M. Elaine Grimm. They have two children.
Isabel de Prado
Isabel de Prado is the Program Director at the Academy, where she coordinates Academy programs, events, and publications, and manages the budget and finances of the organization. Prior to joining the American Academy of Diplomacy, Isabel worked in the financial and business management sectors, as a financial consultant and credit analyst. Following eight years of expertise in that field, Isabel created and managed a recreation center in central Spain, and headed the professional association of her business sector.
Isabel earned a Master of Science in Management with a major in Finance at ESSEC Business School in Paris in 1992. Isabel is a dual French and Spanish citizen, and speaks French, Spanish and some German.
Finance & Operations Assistant
Clara Ren is the Finance and Operations Assistant and she assists the Program Director with Academy programs and events. Clara also manages budgeting activities, outreach to Academy members, and office support for the organization. Clara has previous experience in customer relations and financial analysis in a range of sectors, including investment advisor firms and the health care industry.
Clara has a bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel College in Global Studies & International Affairs with a concentration on the Middle East. Currently, Clara is a graduate student at the George Washington University – Elliott School of International Affairs focusing on finance and investment. She has carried out several economic policy research projects.
Clara speaks Chinese and some French and Spanish.