Ambassador (ret’d.) Richard C. Matheron grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1948. After a year of study in France, he joined the clerical staff of US Marshall Plan Headquarters in Paris. From 1951 to 1957, he held substantive positions at the US Economic and Technological Mission in Saigon and Hue, Vietnam. Through the examination process, he became a Foreign Service Officer in 1957 and was first posted to the US Embassy in Rome.
From then until retirement in 1988, he served in eight U.S. diplomatic and consular posts in seven West, Central and East African countries. Matheron was U.S. Ambassador to Swaziland (now Eswatini) from 1979-1982, Ambassador-in-Residence at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama and Senior Foreign Service Inspector.