Xavier Magazine

Profile: Patrica Kruse Herbold

Patrica Kruse Herbold

Bachelor of Science in chemistry, Edgecliff 1962

Former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore

Bellevue, Wash.


Embassy Row | Pat Herbold is a retired foreign envoy and attorney, but she’s hardly retiring. Active in both Republican politics and environmental causes, this one-time water pollution analyst scaled the heights of the State Department power elite. As United States ambassador to the Republic of Singapore for nearly four years, she encountered her share of parliamentary briefings and daunting diplomatic challenges. Her foreign relations plate came stacked with trade anxieties, economic market shifts and regional security issues in the shadow of the Republic. “In Singapore, we had—we have—a very active military operation, as do the British, Australians and New Zealanders.”

Kodak Moments | Herbold has fond memories of her overseas adventures. For instance, there was the night she slept in a submerged nuclear submarine. And the time she flew off the deck of an aircraft carrier. “I briefly took the flight controls, while in the second seat, to pilot an F-15 jet.”

Singapore Swing | The southeast Asian city-state serves as one of the busiest ports on the planet, an economic crossway to the world. It’s a logistical hub for the U.S. warship fleet as well, with the only pier on Earth (outside of an American naval base) that can accommodate a Nimitz-class super-carrier. “The president and Mrs. Bush came to Singapore in 2006. That was very exciting. I got to ride in his limousine everywhere he went.”

Madame Ambassador | After moving to the Seattle area in the 1990s, the former Montgomery, Ohio, mayor got a taste of higher-level politics with her gubernatorial appointment to the Washington State Gambling Commission and as chair of the King County Republican Party and on the Bush-Cheney campaign. Then the State Department and Oval Office came calling. “I was confirmed by the Senate in 2005, and served until Inauguration Day 2009.”

Ecological Enterprise | With three children and a half-dozen grandchildren, Herbold has plenty to keep her busy. She remains involved with the group Long Live the Kings, dedicated to restoring wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

Family Matters | While both Herbold and her husband, Bob, studied science in college, they ultimately pursued careers beyond the laboratory. Bob is former chief operating officer at Microsoft and VP of advertising at Procter and Gamble. The couple shuttles between homes in Bellevue and Phoenix.

Speaking Her Mind | You might expect a diplomat to be, well, diplomatic. But retired ambassador Herbold is candid and opinionated. Her current passions include roles on the leadership council of the Club for Growth, a public policy group. “We support fiscally responsible, free-market congressional candidates.”

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