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Bishop, Clyde (1942- )

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Clyde Bishop is a diplomat and public policy educator who served as a United States Ambassador to the Marshall Islands. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Bishop holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Delaware State University (1964), a master’s degree in Sociology (1972) and a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis (1976) from the University of Delaware. He is also fluent in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Prior to his career in U.S. Foreign Service, Bishop worked in higher education as the director of Urban Studies at Southern Illinois University where he served from 1974 to 1977 until he returned to Delaware State College (now University) as the Chairperson for the Department of Sociology and Urban Affairs from 1977 to 1980.

Bishop joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1981 and received his first post in Palermo, Italy, where he served as a Consular Economic Officer. He then held the post of Principal Officer in the consulate in Naples, Italy. His other assignments included consular postings in Bombay (Mumbai), India, Hong Kong, China, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Seoul, South Korea.

On July 18, 2006, while he was serving as the Counsel General to the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo, Bishop was nominated by President George W. Bush to be U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands. After U.S. Senate confirmation, Bishop presented his credentials to the Marshall Islands government in the capital, Majuro, on December 7, 2007.

While serving as Ambassador, Bishop became involved in a number of projects, the most important of which was cleaning up and transforming the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site which had been used for nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War.    

As the principal representative of the United States in the islands, Ambassador Bishop also received the majority of the criticism surrounding the inadequate compensation provided to Marshall Islanders who were exposed to decades of U.S. nuclear testing. According to Bishop such criticism was unwarranted since the United States in 1986 had provided $300 million in compensation to individuals and families in addition to over $350 million dollars paid out to local health services as of 2009. Although the dispute over compensation was not resolved during his time as ambassador, Bishop did call on American corporations to increase their investments in the islands to create jobs and raise the overall level of prosperity among the island’s mostly impoverished residents.  

In April 2009 Bishop resigned his post as Ambassador, returned to the United States and retired from the U.S. Foreign Service.   

Since retirement Ambassador Bishop has served as Diplomat in Residence at the City College of New York. During his career Bishop received a number of noteworthy awards from the U.S. State Department including the Meritorious Honor Award in 1989 and 1998 and the Superior Honor Award in 1990. Today Ambassador Bishop continues to serve as an international humanitarian working closely with organizations such as the Salvation Army.

Ambassador Clyde Bishop is married to Cynthia DePaulo and they have two children, Sean and Jeanne, from a previous marriage.

Sources:
“U.S. Nuclear Compensation to RMI Inadequate: Yet far exceeds French Offer,” Pacific Island Report: Pacific Island Development Programs/East-West Center, March 27, 2009, http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2009/March/03-27-25.htm; Marco Marales, “U.S. Ambassador gives views on Kwajalein Transition, Relations with Marshall Islands,” The Eagle 15, no. 3 (March 2008); “Ambassador Clyde Bishop,” U.S. State Department Archives, December 5, 2006, http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/81543.htm.

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University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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