Charles H. Rivkin
Charles H. Rivkin began serving as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs on February 13, 2014, and was sworn in publicly by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on April 15, 2014. Rivkin leads the U.S. State Department bureau responsible for managing trade negotiations, investment treaties, business and commercial affairs, economic sanctions, transportation affairs, telecommunications policy, international finance and development related issues, as well as intellectual property rights protection. In addition, Rivkin provides guidance to the Department’s 1,600 economic officers around the world and to the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Prior to his appointment, Rivkin served for more than four years as the U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco, leading America’s oldest and one of its largest diplomatic missions, which contains six constituent posts throughout France and represents over 50 U.S. government agencies. Rivkin’s confirmation marks the first time a U.S. ambassador and former CEO has ever led the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.
Prior to his government service, Ambassador Rivkin worked in the media sector for over 20 years where he served as President and CEO of award-winning entertainment companies such as The Jim Henson Company and Wildbrain. Rivkin helped engineer the sale of The Jim Henson Company in 2000 for nearly $1 billion, and in 2009, he was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company.
Ambassador Rivkin received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1984, graduating with distinction in political science and international relations. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1988. He was personally awarded the Légion d’honneur with the rank of Commander by French President François Hollande (2013), and received the city of Paris’ highest honor – la Grande Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris – from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (2015).