February 16, 2011
Veteran diplomat Charles Ries has been named the new director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, RAND Corporation officials announced today.
Ries, a former ambassador and U.S. foreign service officer who served in posts in the Middle East and Europe, returned to RAND this month after taking a leave of absence to serve as executive vice president of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
"As governments across the Middle East are experiencing challenge and change, we are delighted that Charles Ries will take on the leadership of RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy," said RAND President and CEO James A. Thomson. "The center has long been a source for insights into the domestic policy and national security challenges that face decisionmakers in the Middle East, and Charles will bring his wisdom, experience and relationships to our efforts to improve policy outcomes throughout the region."
Ries served as ambassador to Greece from 2004 to 2007. His 31-year career as a foreign service officer in the U.S. State Department has included such positions as minister for economic affairs and coordinator for economic transition in Iraq, 2007–2008; principal deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, 2000–2004; and in senior positions at the U.S. Embassy in London, the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, and at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
His research at RAND has included national security and intelligence, European politics, and energy/environmental policy, with a specific focus on the economic aspects of helping fragile states.
Ries is the recipient of the State Department's Cordell Hull Award for Senior Economic Officers, the Distinguished Honor Award, Presidential Meritorious Service Award, and several Superior Honor Awards. For his service in Iraq, he was also awarded the Army's Outstanding Civil Service Medal. Ries earned his master's and bachelor's degrees in international affairs from Johns Hopkins University.