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Richard Bordeaux Parker Edit Profile

educator , writer

Richard Bordeaux Parker, American writer, educator. John Adams fellow Fulbright Commission, 1990; recipient Foreign Service Cup Diplomatic and Consular Officer Retired, 1989, Grande Cordon of Order Cedars, Lebanon, 1978, Lifetime Achievement award American Foreign Service Association, 2004. Member Middle East Institute, Council Foreign Relations, American Academy Diplomacy, Association for Diplomatic Studies, Cosmos Club, Delta Tau Delta.


Parker was the son of Col. Roscoe Parker, a U.S. Army officer (Cavalry), and grew up in U.S. Army posts across the southwest with a stint in Vermont and another in Kansas.


Bachelor of Science, Kansas State University, 1947. Master of Science, Kansas State University, 1948. Postgraduate, Princeton University, 1965.


Parker served as Ambassador to Algeria, Lebanon and Morocco. He was the brother of David Stuart Parker. After college, Parker served as an infantry officer with the 106th Infantry Division (first platoon of the Anti-Tank Company of the 422nd Infantry Regiment) during World War II, where he was captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge and briefly imprisoned.

After the war, he returned to Kansas State, where he earned a master's degree, before joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1949. Captured at the same time as Parker, was Donald Prell, who commanded the second platoon of the Anti-Tank Company. Parker served as deputy chief of mission in Rabat, Morocco from 1970 to 1974.

He was ambassador to Algeria from 1975 to 1977, to Lebanon in 1977, and finally to Morocco from 1978 to 1979. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 1981 and became the editor of The Middle East Journal. In addition to his diplomatic career, Parker taught at the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, and Lawrence University.

He also served as the first president of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training from 1986 to 1989. In 1982, Parker participated in a study group held at the Council on Foreign Relations where he discussed current problems in North Africa. After these meetings Parker spent two years compiling and writing North Africa: Regional Tensions and Strategic Concerns.

His book was published in relation with and through the Council on Foreign Relations. Ambassador Parker's papers are held at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. Some of Richard Bordeaux Parker's photographs are held at the Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in Washington, D.C. The collection includes black and white negatives of Islamic architecture throughout Algeria, Cairo, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, and Spain. Renaissance ManWashington PostMiddle East Institute.


  • In June 2004, Parker received the American Foreign Service Association's lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy award.



Member Middle East Institute, Council Foreign Relations, American Academy Diplomacy, Association for Diplomatic Studies, Cosmos Club, Delta Tau Delta.


  • Other Interests

    Photography, gardening.


Married Jeanne Jaccard, June 23, 1944. Children: Alison, Jeffrey, Jill, Richard.

Roscoe Stuart Parker

Marguerite Helen (Blossom) Parker

Jeanne Jaccard

Alison Parker

Jeffrey Parker

Jill Parker

Richard Parker