Officially Back: Ambassador Laurence Pope to Tripoli as Chargé d’ Affairs

October 11, 2012 State Department announcement:

Laurence Pope has arrived in Tripoli as U.S. Chargé d’ Affairs to Libya. Mr. Pope’s selection as Chargé d’ Affairs emphasizes the commitment of the United States to the relationship between our two countries and to the people of Libya as they move forward in their transition to a democratic government. We will continue to assist as Libya builds democratic institutions and broad respect for the rule of law – the goals that Ambassador Stevens worked hard to achieve.

Chargé Pope looks forward to working with the Libyan Government and the Libyan people during this historic and challenging time, as we build strong economic, social, political, and educational bridges between our two people.

Pope served as a Foreign Service Officer from 1969-2000, retiring at the rank of Minister Counselor after having held a number of senior posts in the Department of State. He was the Director for Northern Gulf Affairs (1987–1990), Associate Director for Counter-Terrorism (1991–1993), U.S. Ambassador to Chad (1993–1996), and Political Advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of United States Central Command (1997–2000). In 2000, President Clinton nominated him as Ambassador to Kuwait.

Laurence Pope retired from the U.S. Foreign Service on October 2, 2000 after 31 years of service. He continues to consult with various institutions and is a respected author.

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Chargé Pope also had advanced studies at Princeton University and is a graduate of the U.S. Department of State Senior Seminar, and is a Senior Fellow at the Armed Forces Staff College. He speaks Arabic and French, and resides in Portland, Maine.

His bio here says that in 2000, he was nominated as Ambassador to Kuwait by President Clinton, but chose to resign from the Foreign Service after a dispute over Iraq policy prevented his confirmation.

In 2001, Dana Priest writing about the Changing Roles of the Regional Commanders In Chief had this brief line on Ambassador Pope:

“I’d like to say that if Ambassador Larry Pope, the political adviser to General Zinni, had been a three-star general in line for a fourth star, his derailment for his next ambassadorship by one Senator, would have brought the wrath of the Defense establishment and the administration. Instead, he was left to fight nearly on his own. And he chose to leave government in the prime of his career.”

Ambassador Pope wrote about his derailed confirmation experience on this FSJ piece in 2001, Advice and Contempt, via American Diplomacy.