Albany High School '68
President Barack Obama, on April 12, 2012,
career Senior Foreign Service Officer Gene A. Cretz to be the Ambassador
of the United States to Ghana.
The appointment was
confirmed by the Senate on August 2, 2012 and Ambassador Cretz was
sworn-in by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on September 11,
Ambassador Cretz hails from Albany, New York, and
attended the University of Rochester, graduating in 1972 with a degree
in English Literature. He later
received a Masters of Science Degree in Linguistics from the State
University College at Buffalo (1975).
Ambassador Cretz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in
Kabul, Afghanistan from 1975-1977, and joined the Department of State in
March 1981. His first Foreign
Service tour was as General Services Officer and Consular Officer in
Islamabad, Pakistan (1982-84). He
then returned to Washington and served one year in the Operations Center
and one year as Staff Assistant in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
From 1986-88, Ambassador Cretz was a political
officer in Damascus, Syria, followed by a tour as a political officer in
New Delhi, India (1988-91). After
leaving India, Ambassador Cretz served in Tel Aviv (1991-94) where he
was responsible for Arab affairs, including the Gaza Strip.
His second Washington assignment was in the Bureau of
International Organizations, as the officer responsible for Middle East
Affairs at the United Nations. From
1998-2001, he served in Beijing, China, where he was in charge of
China's External Affairs portfolio. In
2001 he transferred to Cairo, Egypt where he served as
Minister-Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs.
He returned to Damascus, Syria in August, 2003 as
Deputy Chief of Mission and subsequently served as Chargé d'Affaires of
the Embassy until January 2004. He
was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Tel Aviv from August 2004 until
On July 11, 2007, Ambassador Cretz was nominated by
the President to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Libya and the appointment
was confirmed by the Senate on November 20, 2008.
While awaiting Senate
confirmation, Ambassador Cretz served as the NEA Bureau’s Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Egyptian, Israeli-Palestinian, Jordanian,
Lebanese and Syrian Affairs and assumed responsibility for Maghreb and
Arabian Peninsula Affairs in August 2008. Ambassador Cretz served
in Libya from December 2008 until May 2012.
Ambassador Cretz speaks Dari, Urdu, Arabic and Chinese.
is married to Annette Williams, and the couple has two adult children,
Jeffrey and Gabrielle.
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