Ambassador Litt served for 34 years as a career U.S. diplomat, specializing in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. In 2005-2006 he was the third-ranking officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, with the title of Political-Military Counselor, providing policy advice to the U.S. Ambassador, and serving as liaison between the Embassy and the Multi-National Forces – Iraq. His final assignment as a Foreign Service Officer, prior to retirement in 2008, was as the Associate Director for International Liaison at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Ambassador Litt entered the Foreign Service in 1974. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1995-1998) and as Consul General in Dubai ten years prior. Ambassador Litt was Political Advisor to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida (1998-2004). While at the Department of State, Ambassador Litt served as the Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq), and also as Desk Officer for Saudi Arabia. In addition to a tour as economic/commercial officer in Kabul, Afghanistan, in the late 1970s, he served twice as political officer in Damascus, Syria. Just prior to his recent service in Baghdad, he was the State Department’s Diplomat-in-Residence at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Other assignments included Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger, and as a consular officer in Palermo, Italy. Among several other languages, he speaks Italian, French, Arabic, and Afghan-Persian (Dari).
Ambassador Litt received the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2004 and USSOCOM’s Civilian Award for Outstanding Service in 2002. He also received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award in 2002 and 2004 for his work with the U.S. military and in 2000 for his proposals to improve strategic planning at the Department of State. In addition, he earned a Superior Honor Award for his service as Ambassador to the UAE, and the Meritorious Honor Award as DCM in Niger.
Ambassador Litt was born on Dec. 27, 1949, in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Miami, FL. He received a bachelor’s degree with majors in history and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971, and a master’s degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. in 1973. At SAIS, he specialized in European affairs and international economics. He attended Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2000.
He is married to the former Beatrice Ilardi, and has two children, Barbara and Giorgio.