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Mormon RM called to a new mission — as ambassador to Iraq

Published September 13, 2012 4:06 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It seems that returned Mormon missionaries make good U.S. ambassadors.

President Barack Obama this week nominated Robert S. Beecroft, a Brigham Young University graduate who served a two-year LDS Church mission to Argentina, as the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq. From 2008 to 2011, Beecroft was the ambassador to Jordan.

A year ago, Matthew Tueller, another BYU grad and returned missionary, was sworn in as ambassador to Kuwait.

Clearly, though, the most well-known LDS ambassador was former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, whom Obama tapped for China.

Beecroft, a career diplomat who has been running the embassy in Iraq since 2011, was chosen after Obama's previous pick, Brett McGurk, withdrew his candidacy after "racy emails" surfaced between the married diplomat and a Wall Street Journal reporter. The two subsequently married.

Beecroft arrived in Iraq in 2011 as deputy chief of mission, the foreign service website said, "became chargé d'affaires upon the departure of Ambassador James Jeffrey on June 1, 2012."

The Senate has yet to confirm Beecroft for his new post.

Peggy Fletcher Stack