Ambassador C. David Welch

Ambassador C. David Welch is a member of the board of directors of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He has a broad range of knowledge and experience in government and business, internationally and in the United States. Welch recently retired after 10 years (2009-19) with Bechtel, a global engineering and construction firm. At Bechtel, he was a senior vice president and partner supervising international and government affairs; regional representatives in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America; the Washington, DC office; global corporate security; and internal and external corporate communications. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy. Welch also serves on corporate and nonprofit boards.

Welch served 32 years (1977-2008) with the U.S. Foreign Service. He was nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to senior positions in successive Democratic and Republican administrations. In 2008, he attained the lifetime rank, confirmed by the Senate, of Career Ambassador. When he retired from government, Welch was assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs (2005-08), the senior-most U.S. diplomat for the region. He served as ambassador to Egypt (2001-05) and assistant secretary for international organizations (1998-2001). He was also acting chief of mission in Saudi Arabia from 1992-94. Welch was on the National Security Council staff at the White House (1989-91) and also served in Pakistan, Syria, and Jordan. He was the recipient of a number of awards during his government service, including a Group Award for Valor. Welch is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.