Charles Ray

North Potomac, Maryland

Charles Ray served 20 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1982 with the rank of major. His assignments, around the world, included two tours in Vietnam. In 1982, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service, and spent the next 30 years as an American diplomat in posts in Asia and Africa, and assignments in the United States. He was the first U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam (1998-2001), and served as American ambassador to Cambodia (2002-2005) and Zimbabwe (2009-2012). From 2006 - 2009 he was deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs, and director of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO).
Since retirement from government in 2012, he has been engaged in consulting, lecturing and public speaking, and writing. He works with several Department of Defense agencies on the interagency aspects of personnel recovery, and with the American Foreign Service Association and the American Academy of Diplomacy on issues relating to professionalization of foreign policy and ethics.
A writer of fiction and nonfiction, Ray is the author of the e-book mystery series featuring DC-based PI Al Pennyback, and two books on leadership, "Things I Learned From My Grandmother About Leadership and Life" and "Taking Charge: Effective Leadership for the Twenty-first Century." I'm currently expanding the Al Pennyback series, and have done a series of short stories on

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