During a career of 39 years as a Foreign Service Officer, Bill Harrop served as United States Ambassador to Guinea, Kenya, Seychelles, Zaire and Israel. He was Inspector General of the State Department and Foreign Service, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, a member of the State Department's Policy Planning and Coordination Staff, and Deputy Chief of Mission to Australia. He served also in Italy and Belgium.
He was elected Chairman of the American Foreign Service Association, and holds the State Department Distinguished Honor Award and the Presidential Distinguished Service Award. He received the 2001 Foreign Service Cup.
Harrop was born in Baltimore. He holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.
He is now associated with a private foundation and is a member of the board of PSI, the largest health social marketing NGO. A member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs and of the Foreign Affairs Council, he is a director of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Senior Living Foundation of the American Foreign Service, American Diplomacy Publishers, the Henry L. Stimson Center and the Humane Society of Washington DC. He chairs the Foreign Affairs Museum Council, an organization involved in the creation of a museum of American diplomacy. He served eight years as president of the Spring Valley-Wesley Heights Citizens Association in the District of Columbia.
He speaks French and Italian. He and his wife of 53 years, the former Ann Delavan, have four sons and nine grandchildren.