Richard C. Merrin assumed duties as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander of United States Army South in July 2022. US Army South is headquartered at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas and is the Army Service Component Command of United States Southern Command. They have an area of responsibility which includes 31 countries and 15 areas of special sovereignty in Central and South America and the Caribbean. As Foreign Policy Advisor, Rick provides the Commander and other senior command staff with geo-political, political-military, economic, and cultural counsel.
Rick Merrin arrived at United States Army South after serving in political, political-military, and economic roles at embassies in El Salvador, Spain, Sri Lanka, Peru, and Liberia. He also served in Washington, DC, working to strengthen bilateral relationships with Colombia and Venezuela, as well as maintaining U.S. relationships with multinational financial institutions such as International Monetary Fund.
He is a member of the Foreign Service in the U.S. Department of State, having joined in 2000 and has served under four Presidents. Throughout his 22-year career, he had led many embassy initiatives in economic development, political and economic analysis, and advancement of U.S. interests involving environment, science, technology, health, intellectual property, and commercial matters. He also has coordinated and negotiated embassy views on how to reduce insecurity and further U.S. bilateral and multilateral interests.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State as a diplomat, Mr. Merrin practiced law in San Diego, California, taught international law and business at several universities in China, and held key leadership positions in several corporate and non-profit entities.
Mr. Merrin earned his law and MBA degrees from The Ohio State University, a Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and completed the Theater Army Staff Course from the U.S. Army War College.