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On his frequent sorties into Baghdad, he visits one of Saddam
Hussein’s former Presidential Palaces, now headquarters of the
CPA. It’s a garish concrete structure he characterizes as “disappointing
given the megalomania of the former regime.” One of
its attributes, he says, is a “nice swimming pool” used by offduty
coalition soldiers. He works nearby in the Iraq Forum, the
building from which most civilian reconstruction is managed.
Back in Cairo he operates from the U.S. Embassy supporting the
U.S. economic assistance program in Egypt. This effort, he says,
plays a key role in the resolution of the Palestinian issue and efforts
to combat international terrorism.
Egypt is also the place where Groarke calls home. It is there
he lives with his wife, Margaret, and their two daughters,
Jacqueline, 8, and Juliette,5. Margaret is also a lawyer and
Democracy officer with USAID. She has the job of managing a
project designed to modernize Egypt's court system. The couple
was married in 1988 in a Renaissance Palace, now City Hall in
The couple adopted Jacqueline in China in 1995 and Juliette from Thailand in 1999. Last year she became an
Groarke grew up in a family where his Irish-born parents
had only limited educational opportunities. Yet they emphasized
education as a means of escaping poverty.
“It was always my intention to pursue a career in law and
international affairs,” he writes. In his youth he traveled abroad
earning a Masters Degree in International Relations from the
London School of Economics. After that he went on to study
International Law at Penn.