Robert A. Wood is a diplomat who has spent his career in public affairs, helping to shape the image of the United States, and in roles that guide the country’s relations with multilateral organizations.
Wood received his bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York, before joining the United States Foreign Service through the U.S. Information Agency in 1988. During his early career as a foreign service officer, Mr. Wood served in several postings at the State Department in Washington, D.C., including as a public affairs advisor for the Bureau of African Affairs, as a special assistant to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and in several positions dealing with the Balkan nations, which include Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.
His early overseas posts in the foreign service included several public affairs positions in Mexico City, Mexico; Lagos, Nigeria; Islamabad, Pakistan; and Pretoria, South Africa. This public affairs work prepared Wood for many leadership positions within the U.S. government’s foreign policy apparatus at home and abroad.
He served as deputy spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2001 to 2004. Then, from 2004 to 2008, he served as the press attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany. After Berlin, Wood returned to Washington, D.C. where he served as the State Department’s deputy spokesman and deputy assistant secretary for Public Affairs from 2008 to 2010.
In 2010 he again headed overseas where he served as the deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria, until 2013. This was followed by service as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, from 2013 to 2014. He also served as acting chargé d’affaires (meaning chief of the mission) at the U.S. Mission upon the departure of Ambassador William Kennard in 2013.
In these last three assignments particularly, Wood played a leadership role in ensuring that the United States had strong relations with multilateral organizations within the United Nations’ system, as well as within the European Union. In 2013 this leadership in promoting multilateral dialogue and incorporation was recognized by President Barack Obama who nominated Wood for rank of ambassador while he served as United States representative to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and U.S. special representative for Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) Issues based in Geneva, Switzerland.
After confirmation by the U.S. Senate on July 21, 2014, Ambassador Wood took up his new post. In his dual roles, he is responsible for moving forward the administration’s agenda of seeking “to promote peace and security in a world without nuclear weapons.” As part of this nuclear disarmament agenda, he also leads U.S. efforts to promote the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, review process, including issues related to the NPT’s Article VI which addresses nuclear disarmament.
Ambassador Wood is married to Gita Wood, and they have one son, Jonathan.