Richard Schmierer has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs since 2008. Immediately prior, Mr. Schmierer served as Director of the Office of Iraq Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in the State Department since 2007. Mr. Schmierer is a State Department Foreign Service Officer and member of the Senior Foreign Service. He began his diplomatic career in 1980. His first Foreign Service tour was in Germany from 1980 through 1984. Mr. Schmierer then served a three-year assignment as the Public Affairs Officer at the American Consulate General in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (1985-88). From 1988-1992, Mr. Schmierer served at the headquarters of the U.S. Information Agency, first as the head of the Middle East office of the International Visitor Program, and later in the Agency’s Office of European Affairs. From 1992-1996, Mr. Schmierer served as the Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Germany. Mr. Schmierer returned to Saudi Arabia in August 1997, where he served as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, until June 2000. From June 2000 through June 2004 he served as Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the American Embassy in Berlin, Germany. In June 2004-June 2005, Mr. Schmierer served as Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs in Baghdad. In July 2005 he joined the staff of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Mr. Schmierer holds a B.A. from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and Master and Doctoral degrees from the University of Massachusetts. * * * If confirmed, Mr. Schmierer would succeed career diplomat, Gary A. Grappo, who was appointed to post in 2006. I had to go back all the way to 1985 - yep 1985 to find a political appointee as US Ambassador to Oman (that would be George Cranwell Montgomery).