Ronald E. Neumann bigraphy, stories - American diplomat

Ronald E. Neumann : biography

1944 -

Ronald E. Neumann (born 1945) is an American diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan (2005–2007), Bahrain (2001–2004) and Algeria (1994–1997). He is the son of former ambassador Robert G. Neumann and traveled extensively after college in Afghanistan while his father was ambassador there. He pronounces his last name Newmann (without the Germanic neu) and his name is sometimes seen spelled that way.


  • "The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan" Potomac Books
  • "U.S. works behind scenes to ease tension in Algeria", The Ottawa Citizen, (April 23, 1994)
  • "Diplomatic Exit Some Way Off, Says Young", Gulf Daily News, (February 27, 2000)
  • "US Envoy to Stay Till Summer", Gulf Daily News, (September 7, 2000)
  • "Envoy's Nomination Hits a Security Snag", Gulf Daily News, (September 29, 2000)
  • "Embassy Row", The Washington Times, (July 24, 2001)
  • "U.S. Embassy in Bahrain Remains Closed", Gulf Daily News, (April 7, 2002)
  • "Bahrain: King Reviews US Ties with Outgoing Ambassador", Global News Wire, (June 1, 2004)


Mr. Neumann joined the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 1970. After an initial posting in Senegal, he began to specialize in the Middle East, particularly in the Persian Gulf, beginning in 1973 when he served in Tabriz, Iran. He also served in the United Arab Emirates and in 1991 as Director of the Iran Iraq office (Director of Northern Gulf Affairs) he was involved in overseeing Kurdish refugees in the Middle East.

In 1994 he was made Ambassador to Algeria,, U.S. Department of State website, August 1, 2005. in part because of his Middle East experience, and served in that capacity until 1997. He subsequently was made Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

In 2000, he was selected to become ambassador to Bahrain, but the Senate did not confirm him immediately and during the delay he was found to be involved in a minor security scandal involving the mishandling of classified materials. He was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing and newly-elected President George W. Bush approved his appointment in 2001.

He was ambassador to Bahrain when the embassy there was closed temporarily due to attacks in April 2002 from pro-Palestinian protestors. No one was hurt in the protest although buildings were damaged and vehicles were set on fire.

In 2004, he left Bahrain to serve as a United States political advisor in Iraq and served in that position until he was made ambassador to Afghanistan in 2005. He was sworn in on July 27, 2005 and presented his credentials to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on August 1, 2005. He retained that post until 2007.

Neumann currently serves as the president of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a Washington, DC-based think tank.

In 2009 he authored The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan, a book exploring political and military issues of Afghanistan.

He speaks Arabic, French, and some Persian.

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