Name at birth: Lewis Paul Bremer III
Paul Bremer is the United States diplomat who served as the de facto head of state of Iraq after the U.S. invaded that country in 2013. A 1963 Yale graduate with an MBA from Harvard (1966), Bremer entered the Foreign Service in 1968. Until 1971 he served in Malawi and Afghanistan, then joined the staff of Henry Kissinger in 1972. Bremer was an assistant to Secretary of State Kissinger until 1976, and after a brief stint as assistant to Secretary of State Alexander Haig in 1981, Bremer was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be ambassador to The Netherlands (1983-89). By the late 1980s, he was considered an expert in counter-terrorism, but he left public service in 1989 to join Kissinger and Associates, a private consulting firm. After the invasion of Iraq, President George W. Bush named Bremer as special envoy, and from 12 May 2003 until 28 June 2004 Bremer was the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in occupied Iraq, the most powerful person in the country. He outlawed Saddam Hussein's political party and disbanded Iraq's army, a controversial move at the time that has since been considered a serious error. An audit of spending during Bremer's tenure in Iraq could not account for nearly $9 billion, and although he has endured years of criticism for slipshod accounting practices. Bremer was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Bush. He published a memoir of experiences in 2006, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope.
After retiring, Paul Bremer took up painting, just like his old boss, George W. Bush.
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