Robert Mason Beecroft
Robert Mason Beecroft retired from the Department of State in 2006 with the rank of Career Minister-Counselor after a 35-year career as a Foreign Service Officer. He now serves on a part-time basis as a supervisory senior inspector, leading inspections of U.S. diplomatic operations in Kuwait, Syria, Taiwan, Vietnam, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and the Department of State. He has conducted recent studies, for the American Academy of Diplomacy and the U.S. Institute of Peace, of the professional education and training of American diplomats and the use of special envoys in conflict diplomacy. From 2006 to 2009, he was Vice President for Diplomacy and Development at MPRI, Inc., a division of the L-3 Corporation. From 2004 to 2006, he was a professor of national security strategy at the U.S. National War College.
From 2001 to 2004, following his ambassadorial confirmation by the Senate, Amb. Beecroft led the Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with a staff of 800 people from thirty countries. He was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997, following an earlier assignment to Bosnia as Special Envoy for the Bosnian Federation and Chargé d’Affaires at U.S. Embassy Sarajevo. As a junior and mid-grade Foreign Service Officer, he served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassies in Amman and Ouagadougou; counselor for political/economic affairs at the U.S. Mission to NATO (Brussels); political officer at Embassies Cairo, Bonn and Paris; State Department advisor-expert on the SALT TWO strategic nuclear negotiations in Geneva; special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to France; and deputy political advisor to the Supreme Allied Commander at NATO military headquarters (SHAPE) in Belgium. In Washington, he has been Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs; Senior Coordinator for Bosnian Implementation; special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State; officer-in-charge of Federal German Affairs; and a nuclear arms control specialist in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
Amb. Beecroft is the recipient of two personal Superior Honor Awards, four group Superior Honor Awards, and numerous Performance Awards and Meritorious Step Increases. He is a 1988 graduate of the U.S. National War College, and was a member of the Fortieth Senior Seminar at the Foreign Service Institute (1997-98).
Amb. Beecroft is fluent in French, German, Norwegian and Danish, and conversant in several other languages. His hobbies include music (listening and performing), archaeology, snorkeling, tennis, hiking and U.S. Civil War history. He is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the American Foreign Service Association, the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, the American Council on Germany, the Association of the United States Army, the Army Civil Affairs Association, the Army and Navy Club of Washington, and the Union League of Philadelphia. He is a board member of the Alliance Française of Washington and the Senior Seminar Alumni Association.Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1940, Amb. Beecroft completed secondary education at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a B.A. and M.A. in French. He studied in Paris at the Sorbonne, in Munich at the Goethe-Institut, and on the postgraduate level at the University of Strasbourg. Before joining the Foreign Service, he taught American civilization and English language at the Lycée d’État Fustel de Coulanges in Strasbourg, and French and German at the University of Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph’s University and Germantown Academy in Philadelphia. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a medical corpsman (1965-68) and civil affairs officer (1968-71).
Amb. Beecroft is married to the former Mette Louise Ording Ottesen, Ph.D., a senior consultant at the State Department. They have two grown children, Christopher and Pamela.