Richard LeBaron, a native son of Colorado, has been an American diplomat for 26 years and has served in eight countries. He is currently the American ambassador to Kuwait. As ambassador, LeBaron has been an avid promoter of the expansion of exchange programs between young people from the Middle East and the U.S. He views such investments in human capital as critical to long-term U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East. LeBaron's previous overseas diplomatic postings include Lisbon, Tunis, New Delhi, and Managua. Before he entered the Foreign Service, he held a two-year consultancy in Brazil, working on science policy issues.
Previously, LeBaron was the deputy chief of mission in Tel Aviv, and between 1998 and 2001, he directed political and economic affairs at the American mission in Cairo. While posted in Washington from 1991 to 1998, LeBaron served in three positions related to the Middle East: director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council, director of the Peace Process and Regional Affairs Office in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, and public affairs adviser for the Near Eastern Bureau. During part of this period, he was in charge of the Middle East multilateral peace process and chaired the group on water resources. From 1989 to 1991, he was political officer in the State Department's Office of European Community Affairs.
LeBaron received a master's degree from The George Washington University and a BA from the University of Colorado. He and his spouse Jean Foshee LeBaron are Virginia residents.