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
February 20, 2020
In February 2020, Richard Boucher testified in front of Congress during the hearing for "The Afghanistan Papers: Costs and Benefits of America’s Longest War." Boucher offered words of advice towards stabilization in Afghanistan and surrounding areas of the Middle East. His experience stems from his time at the Department of State, where he was actively involved in Afghanistan policy from 2000 to 2009.
June 11, 2019
Senior Fellow Richard Boucher in The Hill, "If we can wire the world our way, China will have to negotiate to fit in. Dividing the world into the U.S. sphere and the Chinese sphere leaves us as isolated as them."
April 26, 2019
Senior Fellow Richard Boucher comments on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "ethos" statement he made in hopes of boosting morale. "Nothing speaks like leading with diplomacy and if we are going to start doing that then we don’t really need ... (a new) statement."
October 10, 2018
Senior Fellow Richard Boucher comments on Nikki Haley's resignation as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. "She has been unique in this administration, not because she's pushed a strong U.S. agenda, but in showing that to accomplish our goals we need to sit down with other countries and work in concert with allies and friendly countries."
September 25, 2018
Senior Fellow Richard Boucher joins Fox Business to discuss the US sanctions on Iran and what he hopes to hear from President Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
March 15, 2018
In this story exploring where possible new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stands on major issues, Senior Fellow Richard Boucher said Pompeo "fits in with a crowd that I think tends to be quite confrontational and quite assertive about the United States."
December 1, 2017
Senior Fellow Richard Boucher comments on the reports that Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo may soon become secretary of state.