- Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2004)
For almost four decades, Ambassador Richard M. Miles has served his country on the international stage in positions of great responsibility. Raised in Indiana, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines after dropping out of high school at the end of his sophmore year. Following his tour of service and earning his high school degree, he received undergraduate degrees at Bakersfield Junior College and the University of California, Berkeley. After earning a master's degree in government at Indiana University in 1964, he then spent three years with the South Carolina Voter Education Project.
In 1967, Richard joined the Foreign Service and was posted to European cities. During this time he earned a graduate Certificate from Indiana University's Russian and East European Institute. As consul general from 1988-1991, in what was then Leningrad, he worked with the democratic opposition in that city. He later served as principal officer at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and as ambassador to the newly independent nation of Azerbaijan. From 1996-1999, Richard was chief of mission in Belgrade. There he again worked with the democratic opposition to Slobodan Milosevic while trying to keep both Kosovar Albanians and Milosevic's police and army from using force and violence.
Ambassador to Bulgaria from 1999-2001, Richard currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Georgia, where he has played a vital role in the peaceful transfer to Western-educated, Western-oriented reformers.