About the Speaker
Ambassador (ret) D. Bruce Wharton served as an officer in the Foreign Service of the United States from 1985 to 2017. His career included assignments in Latin America, Africa, and Washington, and short-term work in Europe and Asia. In his last assignment, he was the acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. In this role, he provided global strategic leadership for all Department of
State public diplomacy and public affairs engagement and oversaw the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, International Information Programs, Public Affairs, and the Global Engagement Center.
Ambassador Wharton served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2015-2016. Prior to that he was the U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe from September 2012 to November 2015. He also served as the Bureau of African Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy, the Director of the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Africa Bureau, and as Deputy Coordinator of the Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs. From 2003 to 2006 he was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.
Bruce Wharton entered the Foreign Service in 1985 and served in public diplomacy positions at U.S. embassies in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. In Africa, he also had temporary duty in Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana. From 1992 to 1995 he worked in Washington, D.C. on Andean Affairs and Western Hemisphere policy issues. He received Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from the Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency, and was the 2011 recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy.
He is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin and speaks Spanish and German. He and his wife Julia currently live in Asheville, NC.