Ambassador to Kuwait: Who Is Matthew Tueller?
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Matthew Tueller, a career Foreign Service Officer, was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Kuwait on September 8, 2011. He has served there previously on two occasions.
Born circa 1951 in Utah, Tueller grew up in in Europe, North Africa, and Latin America, including four years in Tangier, Morocco, as his father, Blaine Tueller, was a Foreign Service officer. Tueller earned a B.A. in International Relations from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1975. Over the next twenty years, nine of his siblings also graduated from BYU. He took a year off from school at BYU to live and work in Spain as a Mormon missionary. He also earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1984.
Tueller joined the Foreign Service in 1985 and served as Egypt Desk Officer from 1989 to 1991. Early overseas assignments included Political Officer at the Embassy in Kuwait, Political Officer and Consular Officer at the Embassy in Amman, Jordan, Political Officer at the Embassy in London, UK, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Doha, Qatar.
In the aftermath of the October 2000 terrorist bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, Tueller was made Chief of the U.S. Office in Aden, overseeing the inter-agency investigation into the bombing, a task that kept him there until February 2001. He then served as Political Counselor at the Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He returned to Kuwait as Deputy Chief of Mission from 2004 to 2007, and served as Political Minister Counselor at the Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, from July 2007 to July 2008. Most recently he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, where he served from August 2008 to May 2011, leaving several months after the Egyptian Revolution that toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. That stint was a return to Cairo for Tueller, who was in Egypt taking advanced Arabic classes in October 1981 when President Anwar Sadat was assassinated and President Mubarak began his 29 years of rule, meaning that Tueller was present for both the beginning and the end of Mubarak’s rule.
Tueller and his wife, DeNeece, have five children.
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