Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.
Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense. In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.
Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.
Topic: The cost of serving
Armitage: Well my wife and I had two biological children. We adopted six, and I must say that one of the things regarding public service at a high level is that you don’t spend the time with your family. And I . . . I think if I were to criticize myself, it is that I spent too much time at work and too little time on them. And I know that now that I’m out of government service, at least temporarily, I’m spending a good bit more time trying to be closer to them, because I don’t feel that I was the parent that I should have been. On the other hand I’m blessed by being married to someone who is a wonderful mother, a wonderful wife, and I think she more than pulled her weight. I think they have leaned to me more, as I was suggesting, more than I leaned to them. I think I sacrificed a bit of that and I’m very sorry for it. But I attempt . . . Now that I have grandchildren, I’m attempting to make it up a bit. And grandchildren are great. You know by the way you can give them back.