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Name: Bouhlal, Rachad
Current Position: Previous Ambassador

President Barack Obama has welcomed a new ambassador from Morocco, which was the first nation to recognize the newly-independent United States in 1777. Mohamed Rachad Bouhlal was appointed ambassador by King Mohammed VI on December 6, 2011, and presented his credentials to President Obama on January 17, 2012.

Born in Rabat, Morocco, on August 26, 1951, Bouhlal earned his undergraduate degree in Mathematics in 1970 and then an MBA at the Rouen Business School in France. Returning to Morocco, in 1976 he joined the civil service, serving at the Office of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Trade and Industry from 1976 to 1978, and as desk officer at the Europe Bureau of the Ministry of Trade and Industry from 1978 to 1979. Moving to the Ministry of Finance in 1979, he served as deputy director of the Trade Division, and then as head of the Commercial Division, at the Foreign Exchange Office from 1979 to 1988.
Shifting gears again, in 1988 Bouhlal became director of the Fishery Industries Department at the Ministry of Fisheries and Merchant Marine. In 1991, Bouhlal became secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, where he remained until 1994, when he became senior advisor to Prime Minister Karim Lamrani and Prime Minister Abdellatif Filali.
Bouhlal was appointed to his first foreign posting in 1996, as Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg. In 1999, Bouhlal was named secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, serving until 2004, when he became Ambassador to Germany. He served in Germany for seven years.
Bouhlal is a founding member of the Association Ribat Al Fath pour le développement durable (Ribat Association for Sustainable Development), a non-governmental organization active since 1986 in the Rabat region. He is a pilot and is currently the president of the Aéro Club Royal de Rabat (Rabat Royal Air Club). Bouhlal is also a past president and founder of the Wildlife Film Festival of Rabat. He speaks Arabic, French, and English, and is married with two children.
Interview with Mohammed Rachad Bouhlal (by Claire Bourdon, Cultural Diplomacy Research)  
Morocco’s New U.S. Envoy Faces Tough Task Ahead (by Hassan Masiky, MoroccoBoard))
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