Christopher Henzel is the chargé d’affaires, ad interim at the American Embassy in Riyadh. Before his current assignment, he was director of the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs at the Department of State in Washington from 2013 to 2016.
Mr. Henzel has spent most of his career specializing in the Arab and Muslim worlds. In recent years he headed the provincial reconstruction office in Mosul, Iraq; was deputy chief of mission and chargé in Manama, Bahrain; and served as counselor for political affairs in Amman, Jordan.
His earlier diplomatic postings were in Yemen, Pakistan, Mexico, and (from 1985 to 1987) Saudi Arabia. In Washington, he has also worked on budgeting for U.S. military and economic assistance for the Near East region, on Egyptian and Maghreb economic affairs, and as desk officer for Iran. He studied Arabic in Tunisia. He has received three State Department superior honor awards, the Army’s superior civilian service award, and the National War College’s Kennan award.