Francis Joseph Ricciardone Jr.
Francis J. Ricciardone served as the twelfth President of the American University from 2016 to 2021. Previously he had served as a United States Foreign Service officer, including assignments as Ambassador to Turkey (2011-2014), Egypt (2005-2008), The Philippines and the Republic of Palau (2002-2005), and as Chargé d’affaires and Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Outside U.S. Government Service, he was Vice President of the Atlantic Council and Director of its Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East (2014-2016); a distinguished visiting scholar at U.S. Institute of Peace (2008-2009); and Chief of the Civilian Observer Unit of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai (1991-1993), an international peacekeeping organization operating in Egypt. Ricciardone has extensive executive experience in public policy in world affairs, interdisciplinary and inter-agency program direction, international educational exchange, organizational change and development, and cross-cultural public communications. Ricciardone speaks and reads Arabic, Italian, Turkish, and French, as well as rudimentary Farsi.