Today the American community in Greece bids farewell to Ambassador David D. Pearce as he finishes his distinguished, 34-year career in the Foreign Service.
Ambassador Pearce has served at the U.S. Embassy in Athens since 2013. During his 34 years at the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Pearce also served in Algeria, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq, among others. He was a reporter and foreign correspondent for nearly a decade before joining the Foreign Service. Ambassador Pearce and Mrs. Pearce will now be enjoying well-deserved retirement in his home state of Maine.
Ambassador Pearce’s highest priority during his tenure in Athens was to see his beloved Greece emerge from crisis stronger, stable, and playing a stabilizing role in this important region. He worked tirelessly in this endeavor and felt a deep sense of responsibility to maintain and promote the strong bond of friendship between the United States and Greece based on a foundation of shared values.
Under his leadership, the U.S. and Greece collaborated as allies on issues related to the economic and migration crises, law enforcement, security, education, and countless others.
Ambassador Pearce traveled to almost every region of the country and, from Lesvos to Crete, from Rhodes to Thrace, from Kalamata to Volos, and everywhere in between, he saw the generosity of Greek spirit – filoxenia and filotimo.
The generosity of the Greek people was especially evident as citizens and the local authorities helped those who were desperate to escape warfare and conflict to start new lives. Even when Greeks themselves were suffering economic hardship, Ambassador Pearce noted that they gave what they could and welcomed refugees into their homes and communities.
In addition to being a diplomat, Pearce spent much of his free time painting watercolors– beautiful images of the villages and countryside he often visited throughout Greece.
In a statement on their Facebook page, the U.S. Embassy in Athens said “We won’t say “goodbye” to Ambassador Pearce, as he is not fond of goodbyes! Instead, we’ll look forward to your next visit to Greece. Your absence will be deeply felt, here at the Embassy in Athens and in the Foreign Service community as a whole. We wish you all the best in your retirement and thank you for your tremendous service.”
Be sure to follow Ambassador David Pearce on Twitter for his #GreatDaysinGreece updates post-retirement, and more of his terrific watercolors.