Partnership for a Secure America: New Board of Directors Chair

Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) is proud to announce Ambassador David Welch as our new Chair of the Board of Directors. Ambassador Welch brings considerable government and business experience to the PSA role, where he has been a Director for two years.

Ambassador Welch’s government career was in the U.S. Foreign Service, with a variety of overseas assignments.  He has held Presidential appointments in Democratic and Republican administrations and was confirmed by the Senate for the lifetime rank as Career Ambassador. We at PSA are confident that David Welch will make substantial contributions to the organization, and we are grateful for his public service. You can read more about David in his bio listed below. 

PSA would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Andrew Semmel for his contributions to PSA as the previous Chair of the Board of Directors. Because of Dr. Semmel’s work, PSA has expanded its programing to deliver premiere education and networking opportunities to congressional staff. The values and virtues exemplified by Dr. Semmel have come to define the work done at PSA. He has been a driving force behind many of our programs and was the impetus for the Department of State-Congress Communication Project and the Program on Legislative Negotiation. 

Holding the line of the bipartisan center can be thankless at times, but Dr. Semmel has meaningfully impacted not only PSA, but generations of congressional staff. His strong commitment to bipartisanship in national security and foreign policy will continue to be at the heart of PSA’s work. PSA thanks Dr. Semmel for his years of public service and stewardship of PSA. 

Ambassador David Welch Bio

David Welch is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of PSA. He has a broad range of knowledge and experience in government and business, both internationally and in the United States. Ambassador Welch retired in 2018 after 10 years with Bechtel, a global engineering and construction firm, where he was a Senior Vice President and Partner, supervising international and government affairs; Bechtel’s regional representatives in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America; Bechtel’s Washington D.C. office; global corporate security; and internal and external corporate communications. He was a board member of the U.S.-Saudi Business Council, the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council and the U.S.-Egypt Business Council and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.   David Welch is currently a Director of OCI NV, and of Fertiglobe, fertilizer firms with global business and production plants in the United States, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. 

Ambassador Welch served 32 years (1977-2008) with the U.S. Foreign Service. He was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to senior positions in successive Democrat and Republican administrations. In 2008, he attained the lifetime rank, confirmed by the Senate, of Career Ambassador. He has extensive experience in international negotiations, conflict resolution, peacekeeping operations, and policy formulation and execution. When he retired from government, Ambassador Welch was Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (2005-2008), the senior-most U.S. diplomat for the region. He served as Ambassador to Egypt (2001–2005) and Assistant Secretary for International Organizations (1998–2001). He was also acting Chief of Mission in Saudi Arabia (1992-1994) during an interregnum between Ambassadors. Ambassador Welch was on the National Security Council staff at the White House (1989-1991), and served in Pakistan, Syria, and Jordan. He was the recipient of numerous awards during government service, including a Group Award for Valor. 

Ambassador Welch is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He attended the London School of Economics.

Andrew Semmel Bio

Dr. Andrew Semmel is a private consultant at AKS Consulting. He currently consults for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

Dr. Semmel joined the Department of State in Spring 2003 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Nonproliferation in the Department’s Bureau of Nonproliferation and continued in that role in the newly formed Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN). His primary responsibilities included the development and execution of policies and initiatives to stem the spread of nuclear weapons, associated technologies and know-how, including export controls. 

From September 2001 to January 2003, he served as the first Executive Director of the U.S.-China Security Review Commission. He was responsible for the Commission’s public hearings, research, briefings, foreign travel, and the preparation of an annual report of findings and recommendations to the Congress on the security implications of economic and financial transactions and interactions between the U.S. and China. 

Dr. Semmel served on the personal staff of Senator Richard G. Lugar from 1987 to 2001, where he was the Senator’s senior Legislative Assistant for Foreign Policy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has been a Tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. He has also been an Adjunct Visiting Professor in the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program (MSFS) at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 1981, he took a position with the Department of Defense as a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA). He served as Chief of the Analysis Division of DSAA until he moved to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February 1985.