About C. David Welch
President, International and Government Affairs, Bechtel Corporation
Ambassador Welch is President of Bechtel’s Europe, Africa, Middle East (EAM) region. In addition, he is Manager of Civil Strategy and Business Development in Bechtel’s civil business unit in London.
Ambassador Welch joined Bechtel after more than 30 years of experience in the U.S. Foreign Service, where he rose to its highest rank, Career Ambassador. He was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to senior positions in successive Democrat and Republican administrations, and has received numerous State Department and Presidential awards and recognitions.
Ambassador Welch served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2005-2008, where he led U.S. diplomacy in the region and supervised American relations with the Arab Middle East, Israel, and Iran. Ambassador Welch was the on-the-ground negotiator during the 2006 war in southern Lebanon. He was the lead negotiator to set up the Annapolis Conference that launched Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in 2007, and was the American envoy to the international “Quartet.” Welch led the U.S.-Libyan negotiations that resulted in a comprehensive claims settlement agreement in 2008 and the full restoration of normal relations between the two countries.
From 2001 to 2005, Ambassador Welch was the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, one of the largest American Embassies in the world. He was Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 1998-2001. His overseas service includes two years as Charge d’Affaires leading the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and assignments in Jordan, Syria, and Pakistan. Ambassador Welch was a member of the National Security Council staff at the White House from 1989 to 1991.
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1975 and has an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. From 1973 to 1974, he studied at the London School of Economics. Ambassador Welch speaks Arabic and Spanish. He is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the American Foreign Service Association. He serves on the Europe advisory group for the Fletcher School.