Larry Schwartz is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) since June, 2014. His assignment includes the direction of press, education and cultural affairs and public engagement between the United States government and partners in the Middle East and North Africa. He oversees over 400 staff and $40 million in programs across the region focused on strengthening partnerships and countering violent extremism and serves as staff co-chair of the Communications Working Group of the Global Coalition Against Daesh.
Mr. Schwartz served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Middle East Transitions, the State Department unit coordinating U.S. assistance to the “Arab Spring” countries of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The Office has since expanded to cover the Syrian civil war, Jordan and Yemen.
In prior Washington assignments, Mr. Schwartz served as Director for Policy, Programs and Resources in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy (R/PPR); he served tours as the Public Diplomacy Office Director for the in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, respectively; he held several other assignments at State and the former U.S. Information Agency.
Mr. Schwartz served as the Strategic Communications Director at Embassy Islamabad during a period of heightened engagement and tension between the U.S. and Pakistan. Through his prior assignment as Public Affairs Officer in New Delhi, Mr. Schwartz built on strengthening bilateral ties to negotiate Indian contributions to the Fulbright program, strengthen American Centers and model creative outreach and engagement activities.
Mr. Schwartz served as Press Spokesman in Tel Aviv during a previous extraordinary era of Middle East diplomacy and summits. He served in Pretoria during South Africa’s historic transition to democracy, where he helped fashion nationwide transitional broadcasting reforms and partnerships. He also served in the Philippines, a previous tour in Islamabad and in Brussels.
Before joining the Foreign Service Mr. Schwartz was an energy economist at TRW, Inc., and taught at the University of Washington in Seattle. A recovering long distance road runner, Mr. Schwartz grew up in Philadelphia and speaks French, Italian and Hebrew.