Peter Van Buren
Peter Van Buren
Virginia, United States
Peter Van Buren is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, a sarcastic, funny, sad, angry book about his work for the Department of State as the leader of two Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in rural Iraq, 2009-2010. His blog continues the story, with daily humor and commentary about Iraq, the Middle East, national security and his ongoing struggles to preserve his First Amendment rights while remaining a Federal government employee.
Peter has served with the Foreign Service for over 23 years. He received a Meritorious Honor Award for assistance to Americans following the Hanshin earthquake in Kobe, a Superior Honor Award for helping an American rape victim in Japan, and another award for work in the tsunami relief efforts in Thailand. Previous assignments include Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the UK and Hong Kong. He volunteered for Iraq service and was assigned to ePRT duty 2009-10. His tour extended past the withdrawal of the last combat troops.
Peter worked extensively with the military while overseeing evacuation planning in Japan and Korea. This experience included multiple field exercises, plus civil-military work in Seoul, Tokyo, Hawaii, and Sydney with allies from the UK, Australia, and elsewhere. The Marine Corps selected Peter to travel to Camp Lejeune in 2006 to participate in a field exercise that included simulated Iraqi conditions. Peter spent a year on the Hill in the Department of State’s Congressional Liaison Office.
- Member for
- 1 year 16 weeks