Ambassador Larocco is former director of the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University and a veteran diplomat.
Ambassador (Ret) James Larocco joined the NESA Center as a Distinguished Professor in August 2009. In July 2010, he was named the Center’s director. A career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Larocco served more than 35 years as a diplomat, including key leadership assignments related to the Near East Region. He has served as Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers on the Sinai Peninsula, Principal Deputy Assistant Security of State for Near East Affairs, Ambassador to Kuwait, Deputy Chief of Mission in Israel, Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs in China, Director of the American Institute in Taipei, Taiwan and Deputy Director of the Department of State Office of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh Affairs. He began his Foreign Service career as Commercial Attache in Saudi Arabia.
A graduate of the University of Portland, which later awarded him an Honorary Doctorate for Public Service, Ambassador Larocco also holds a master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Ambassador Larocco received the State Department Superior Honor award and was presented the Distinguished Honor Award personally by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. He retired from the Foreign Service with the personal rank of Career Minister, equivalent to the military rank of Lieutenant General.
- M.A., International Relations, Latin American Studies, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University
- B.A., Political Science, Latin American Studies, University of Portland