Ambassador Ries joined the RAND Corporation as a Senior Fellow in February 2009.  He is lead author of Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings, Learning from the European Union and Australia (RAND, 2009), and is specializing in international economics and security studies.   Immediately prior to joining RAND, Ambassador Ries served as Coordinator for Economic Transition at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where he was responsible for oversight and coordination of U.S. assistance and economic policy initiatives in Iraq. Mr. Ries served as U.S. Ambassador to Greece (2004-07) and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (2000-04), in the latter capacity overseeing the U.S.-European Union relationship, economics, energy, and public diplomacy.  Mr. Ries had earlier assignments in London, Brussels (U.S. Mission to the European Union), Ankara and the Santo Domingo.  He was detailed to USTR as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North American Affairs and was a member of the NAFTA negotiating team.  At State Department headquarters, Mr. Ries worked on international energy and G-7/G-8 Summits, among other issues. Ambassador Ries is the recipient of the State Department’s “Cordell Hull” Award for Senior Economic Officers, “Rockwell Schnabel” Award for Contributions to U.S.-EU Relations, the Distinguished Honor Award, Presidential Meritorious Service Award, and several Superior Honor Awards.  For his service in Iraq, he was awarded the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.  Mr. Ries holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University.