Monday, August 4, 2008
The first time I ever heard the name "Matthew Tueller," his sister, my college roommate at the time, and I were at the local post office to mail some books to him in Spain, where he was then serving as an LDS missionary. The conversation as I recall it was along the lines of "Where have all the good men gone?" and Anna mentioned that her brother was really something extraordinary.
I had the great pleasure of meeting and becoming acquainted with Matt Tueller (center, photo above) after he returned to resume his studies at BYU, along with several of his siblings (Jan, Anna, Marie and Diane particularly) from a sufficiently large family of ten children that had been raised around the globe, from Northern Africa to Europe to Latin America, as their father had served in the diplomatic service for the U.S. State Department. I really admired their mother. I'll never forget what she told me once, and I've repeated it often to others. She said that wherever she went with her family, even though she knew it was ultimately temporary, she put down roots and made a home. I know that served all of them well.
Matt had some Arabic from living in Morocco, accompanied by good tales and clever folding leather coin purses. He also possessed a good heart and a very human soul, along with the keen intelligence and joie d'vivre shared with his siblings. He was absolutely as his sister had described him, "one of the good ones." There was no doubt he had a big life ahead of him.
The last time I clearly remember seeing Matt we were sitting in a car in the rain in a parking lot in Provo, Utah.
Matthew Tueller finished his degree in International Relations at Brigham Young University and went on to Harvard, and subsequently followed his father's footsteps into the U.S. State Department, where he has in recent years had a number of postings in the Middle East, including Political Counselor for the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia and Charge d'Affaires/Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, Political Counselor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and Deputy Chief of Mission, Cairo.
He is currently U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, a position he has held since September 2011.