US Embassy Latvia: DCM Bruce David Rogers, Sudden Death at 54

Photo from US Embassy Latvia

The US Embassy in Latvia announced the sudden death of the Deputy Chief of Mission in Riga, Bruce Rogers. The career diplomat died in his sleep on June 27. He was 54. He leaves behind his wife and two children. Below is the statement from the embassy:

Riga, June 28, 2011. – It is with great sadness that the U.S. Embassy announces the sudden passing of Deputy Chief of Mission Bruce D. Rogers. Mr. Rogers served two tours in Latvia, first as Political-Economic Chief and later as Deputy Chief of Mission. He passed away in his sleep last night at the age of 54.

Mr. Rogers was a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He joined the Department of State in 1985 and served in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, Latvia, Belgium and Afghanistan. On his last assignment as Director for Provincial Reconstruction and Local Governance in Kabul, he supervised personnel at 25 locations around Afghanistan. Previously he also served as the Deputy Political Advisor at the U.S. Mission to NATO (2003-2006) and as Political-Economic Chief (2000 – 2003) at the U.S. Embassy here in Riga. In 1991 he was part of the team that re-opened the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait at the end of the first Gulf War. His domestic assignments included two tours in the Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, as an instructor in the Orientation Division at the Foreign Service Institute, and as a regional affairs officer in the Office of Counter-Terrorism. In that capacity he led two assessment teams to East Africa in the wake of the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Mr. Rogers was the recipient of four State Department Superior Honor Awards and two Meritorious Honor Awards. He had a B.A. in History and International Relations from San Francisco State University. In 2007 he received a Master’s Degree with Highest Distinction in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island. He leaves behind his wife, Gale Rogers, a retired Foreign Service Officer, and two children.

In his six years in Latvia, Mr. Rogers played a major role on behalf of the U.S. government in assisting Latvia in its accession to NATO and the E.U. and in strengthening economic ties between the U.S. and Latvia. Ambassador Judith Garber said, “Bruce loved Latvia passionately, and he loved working on U.S.-Latvian relations. He was due to leave in just a few days, and it was very hard for him to go because he loved being here so much, but he knew Latvia would always be in his heart.”

A memorial book will be available for signing in the multi-purpose room of the Embassy starting at 9 am, June 29th. There will also be a memorial book at the Embassy’s Independence Day celebration at Mezaparks on Sunday, July 3rd.