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Picture of Charles W. Larson, Jr.BIOGRAPHY

Charles W. Larson, Jr.
Ambassador, Latvia
Term of Appointment: 01/07/2008 to present

Charles W. Larson, Jr. was sworn in as Ambassador to Latvia by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday, January 7, 2008.

Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Larson served from 2003 to 2007 as an Iowa Senator. From 1993-2001, he was a member of the Iowa House. He chaired the Judiciary Committee, which passed the nation’s toughest law on methamphetamine sales. He also chaired the Iowa House Economic Development Committee, making Iowa a more competitive environment to attract and retain high paying jobs.

Ambassador Larson is a founding partner of Lincoln Strategies Group of West Des Moines, Iowa, a full-service public affairs firm with special emphasis in grassroots mobilization, earned media, and strategic communications

President George W. Bush appointed Ambassador Larson in 2003 to the President’s Advisory Commission for Drug Free Communities, on which he continues to serve.

As a major in the U.S. Army Reserves, Ambassador Larson served for a year in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat and the Combat Action Badge. Stationed in LSA Anaconda in the heart of the Sunni Triangle, Ambassador Larson was in charge of the command’s legal affairs and spearheaded its humanitarian missions. These missions included: construction of city halls, schools, and water treatment and rural electrification facilities. He also coordinated Operation Iraqi Hope which distributed more than $100,000 worth of donated school supplies to 17,000 Iraqi school children. In addition to these efforts, Ambassador Larson flew over fifty combat missions as a CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter door gunner, delivering critical re-supplies of ammunition, equipment, and troops throughout Iraq and during the battle of Fallujah.

As a result of this combat tour, Ambassador Larson gathered information and edited a book, Heroes Among Us, which profiles 29 heroes from the War on Terrorism. It was released in January, 2008 by Penguin Publishing Group.

Ambassador Larson prosecuted as an assistant county attorney in Jones County, Iowa from 1997 to 1999. He was then named General Counsel for the ESCO Group, Marion, IA – a technology services firm with more than 250 employees. He served in this capacity until 2006. He was also Chairman of the Iowa Republican Party from 2001-2005.

Ambassador Larson is a 1992 graduate of the University of Iowa, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He graduated with honors and distinction and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honors society. He received his Juris Doctorate degree with distinction in 1996 from the University College of Law.

Ambassador Larson is married and has two sons.

Released on February 4, 2008

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