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Picture of Ruth A. DavisBIOGRAPHY

Ruth A. Davis
Director General, 
Term of Appointment: 06/01/2001 to 07/2003

Ruth A. Davis is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Career Ambassador. She was sworn in as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources on June 1, 2001.

Ambassador Davisí previous position was Director of the Foreign Service Institute from July 1997 to June 2001. Prior to this assignment, she had been the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs (December 1995 - July 1997). Before joining the Bureau of Consular Affairs, she was Ambassador to the Republic of Benin (December 1992 - November 1995). Following her assignment as Consul General in Barcelona, Spain, (1987-91), Ambassador Davis was a member of the 34th Class of the Senior Seminar (1991-92) which is the highest level of executive training offered by the US Government.

Ambassador Davis joined the Foreign Service in 1969 and was assigned as Consular Officer in Kinshasa, Zaire (1969-71). Specializing in consular affairs, she also served in Nairobi, Kenya (1971-73), Tokyo, Japan (1973-76) and Naples, Italy (1976-80). She returned to the United States as a Pearson Fellow working as Special Advisor for International Affairs for the Washington, DC Municipal Government. While advising the DC Government, she directed the Cityís Sister City Program and its International Task Force. She was credited with substantially improving the cityís involvement in the international, economic, cultural, and diplomatic arenas.

Ambassador Davisí previous assignments in the Department of State include Senior Watch Officer in the Operations Center (1982-84) and Chief of Training and Liaison in the Bureau of Personnel. While in the latter position, she was invited to attend the Aspen Institute in Colorado, an honor generally reserved for officers with the rank of Ambassador. Ambassador Davis was assigned to the NATO Defense College, but declined in order to assume the position of Consul General in Barcelona.

Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, Ambassador Davis received her Bachelorís Degree Magna Cum Laude (Sociology) in 1966 from Spelman College in Atlanta. While enrolled at Spelman, she spent 15 months as a Merrill Scholar studying and traveling in Europe and the Middle East. She earned a Masterís degree from the School of Social Work, University of California at Berkeley. Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Davis worked briefly in the Population Division of the Agency for International Development and as a research assistant at the University of California at Berkeley.

Ambassador Davis is credited with playing a significant role in the organization of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games and in Atlantaís successful bid for those of 1996. She drafted a study entitled "Transferring Knowledge and Experience from the Barcelona Olympic Organizing Committee to the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games." She speaks French and Spanish, and is an avid opera fan.

President Bush nominated and the Senate confirmed Ambassador Ruth A. Davis for the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service. Former President Clinton approved the Departmentís nomination of Ambassador Davis for a Presidential Distinguished Service Award in September 1999. She was the 1999 winner of the State Departmentís Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Award for mentoring and developing the people around her, especially junior officers. She was also the recipient of the Department of Stateís Superior Honor Award, and was granted an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by her alma mater, Spelman College in 1998.


Released on May 5, 2002

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