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W. Robert Pearson


Bob joined IREX as our fourth president in 2008, as the organization was broadening its programs and becoming an organization with global reach. Focusing IREX’s mission and presenting strategies to make best use of IREX’s talents and experience are Bob’s priorities as IREX takes on new challenges around the world.

As Director General of the US Foreign Service from 2003 to 2006, Bob introduced critical changes in America’s diplomacy, twice earning national awards for innovation and management improvement and preparing the United States for the challenges of the 21st Century. He served as Ambassador to Turkey from 2000 to 2003 during a critical period and was previously posted in Paris, Brussels, Beijing, Taipei and Auckland, New Zealand, in addition to other senior positions at the Department of State. From 2006 to 2008, he headed the international business division of The Spectrum Group in Alexandria, Virginia.

In March 2011, Bob was appointed to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, supporting worldwide humanitarian development and values. He speaks French, Turkish, and Chinese (mandarin) and brings a wide and deep understanding of the domestic and international foreign affairs scene. 

You may not know...

Bob took a 1,500-mile trip on his Harley Davidson from Washington, D.C. to Natchez, Mississippi, actually likes eggplant, and that his ambition is (still) to walk the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

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