Watson Institute at Brown University
International Relations
Richard Boucher

Richard Boucher

+1 401 863 9604
280 Brook Street, Room 411


Downloadable CV

Richard Boucher

Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs

Areas of Interest: Diplomacy, foreign policy, China, South Asia.


Richard Boucher is a senior US diplomat turned teacher. Over a thirty-two year career, he achieved the highest rank in the U.S.Foreign Service as Career Ambassador.

Richard’s career began in China at the start of economic reform; in his later career, he became the longest serving Spokesman in the history of the State Department, serving six Secretaries of State. From 2006 to 2009, he formulated U.S. policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as India and the broader region, as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. Richard also served as U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus (1993-1996), Consul General in Hong Kong (1996-1999), and led U.S. efforts for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation as US Senior Official for APEC from 1999-2000.

After retiring from the State Department, Ambassador Boucher served four years as Deputy Secretary-General of the Organizationfor Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the international organization of 35 countries working together to analyze and coordinate economic policy. In this leadership role, he worked with the developing world, focusing on reforms in the major economies of China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa as well as newly reforming countries like Colombia, Tunisia and Myanmar.

Richard now teaches diplomacy and foreign policy to Brown University graduate and undergraduate students as a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. From 2016 to 2018, he advised HSBC Bank/South Asia on stopping money laundering and financial crime.

In addition to public speaking, occasional television appearances and participation in seminars, he blogs at richardboucher.wordpress.com and has written for publications including  theCipherBrief.com, theHill.com, theDiplomat.com and others.

Richard also serves on the board of The Mountain Institute (mountain.org), a non-profit that partners with mountain people to protect their environment and livelihood. He has also participated in a US-Pakistan Track II dialogue.

Richard taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal from 1973-1975. He obtained his Bachelor's degree from TuftsUniversity and did graduate work in economics at the George Washington University. He is married to Carolyn Brehm, a business executive and consultant. They have two children, Madeleine and Peter.


TheDiplomat.com: The Internal Debates Driving the US-China Trade War, June 11, 2019

TheHill.com:  It's time to gang up on China, June 10, 2019

TheDiplomat.com:  China’s Belt and Road: A Reality Check, March 29, 2019

TheCipherBrief:   Trump and Kim Jong Un: Let’s Make a Deal, March 29, 2018

In Afghanistan, Keep Your Eye on the Exit,  theCipherBrief.com, August 25, 2017

Donald Trump Can Learn from Teddy Roosevelt’s “America First”, theCipherBrief.com, August 17, 2017

No One Makes Money by Betting Against Hong Kong, theCipherBrief.com, July 31, 2017


MPA 2230 Skills for Future Diplomats

INTL1802V  Diplomacy and Economic Influence

PLCY2230   Skills for Future Diplomats

Talks & Media

FoxBusiness News, March 28, 2019.  See Blogpost

FoxBusiness News, Trump administration using wrong strategy in China trade talks?, February 22, 2019,

Fox Business News, Will more US sanctions crumble Iran’s economy?, September 25, 2018

U.S. Launches China Trade Probe, a Sign of “Living in the Past”, theCipherBrief.com, August 17, 2017

Pakistan, US in backchannel contact to resolve rift, GeoNews, August 25, 2017