FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 1998
Release No. 49-98

CONTACT: Catherine Stearns
PHONE: (202) 401-1190
E-MAIL: cstearns@usia.gov



United States Information Agency
- News Release

RICHARD VIRDEN NAMED DEPUTY DIRECTOR
OF USIA WEST EUROPEAN AND CANADIAN AFFAIRS


Washington, D.C. — Richard A. Virden was named Deputy Director of West European and Canadian Affairs (WEU) at the United States Information Agency (USIA) on July 13, 1998.
Mr. Virden holds the rank of Minister-Counselor in USIA's Foreign Service.

For the past year, Mr. Virden has been the Agency's diplomat-in-residence at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he taught public diplomacy.

Mr. Virden has a long career in foreign service, beginning in 1966. He was Public Affairs Officer in Poland (1994-1997), Romania (1990-1993), and Portugal (1986-1990). He was in Poland previously as Information Officer/Press Attaché (1977-1980). He has served in Thailand twice, Vietnam, and Brazil. In Washington, he was Deputy Director of the European Wireless File newswire and Policy Officer in the Office of Inter-American Affairs. Mr. Virden speaks Polish, Romanian, Portuguese, and Thai.

A native of Minnesota, Mr. Virden is a graduate of St. John's University in Minnesota and the National War College in Washington, D.C. He and his wife now live in Reston, Va., and they have a 24-year-old son.

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The United States Information Agency, headed by Dr. Joseph Duffey, is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of exchange and information programs. The Agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

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