Robert S. Gelbard was born in New York City in 1944. He has a B.A. (history) from Colby College and M.P.A. (economics) from Harvard University. He also studied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
After serving in the Peace Corps in Bolivia (1964- 66), he jointed the Foreign Service in 1967. His overseas assignments have included Manila, Republic of the Philippines (1968-70); Porto Alegre, Brazil (1970-72) as Principal Officer; and Paris, France (1978-82) as First Secretary and Deputy Treasury Representative. In the State Department, he has worked on economic and financial issues in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs and the Bureau of European Affairs, and served as Deputy Director for Western European Affairs (1982-84), and Director of Southern Africa Affairs (1984-85). Ambassador Gelbard was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South America from 1985-88 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs from 1991-93. He served as Ambassador to Bolivia from 1988-91.
Ambassador Gelbard has served as the United States representative to the Paris Club, was President Bush's representative preparing for the San Antonio Summit, was a member of numerous United States Government delegations to the OECD and served on the U.S. delegation to the Conference on International Economic Cooperation (the North/South dialogue). He also was detailed part-time to the staff of the President's Council of Economic Advisors in 1978. Ambassador Gelbard has received a Presidential Meritorious Award, the State Department's Superior Honor Award, and the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award.
He has held the position of Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs since November 1993.
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