Lloyd Richardson: A life of diplomacy, law, and literary espionage

Published 1:16 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

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For Washington Daily News

 Lloyd Richardson, a man whose life has been woven with the threads of diplomacy, law, and a passion for writing, now finds solace in the quaint town of Chocowinity, North Carolina.

 In his earlier years, Richardson served as a diplomat during the Reagan administration, leaving an indelible mark on American foreign policy. Fluent in Chinese, he held various diplomatic posts abroad and at the State Department, culminating in his role as staff assistant to the Director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. 

 “I actually really enjoyed my time in the Foreign Service,” shared Richardson. “That was the most interesting hands-on experience, I think. There’s nothing quite like serving time in the U.S. Government and getting a sense of what can happen and what can’t happen.”

However, he is glad he didn’t do it for an entire career and transitioned into the practice of law. He emphasizes the sobering yet exhilarating experience of serving in the U.S. government and gaining insights into the intricacies of international relations. Richardson spent many years in the Washington, D.C. area advising clients on infrastructure projects, investments, and corporate matters.

After over three decades as a lawyer, Richardson found himself compelled to channel his frustrations with U.S. foreign policy during the Obama administration into writing. The result: “The Adam Chin Trilogy,” a series of spy novels providing readers with a unique perspective on China’s global influence.

 “I knew in college that I wanted to write, but I like to think I was sensible enough that at 20-something years old I didn’t really have anything to write about,” reflected Richardson. “I put it off thinking I’ll do it later.”

 The trilogy, comprising “Dragon’s Paw,” “Launch Code,” and the recently released “Seven Days in August,” explores the intricate world of espionage and international intrigue. Richardson’s own experiences in the Foreign Service, including his time in Kenya working for the U.S. Treasury, significantly influenced his portrayal of global power dynamics.

 “People need to start understanding how dangerous China is to the United States,” emphasized Richardson, urging others to stay informed about global affairs through reputable sources like the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

 Apart from his literary pursuits, Richardson dedicated 12 years as special counsel to the CASA-1000 project, a renewable energy infrastructure initiative connecting Central Asia to South Asia. The pause in construction due to geopolitical events underscores the complex nature of global projects, but Richardson remains actively engaged elsewhere since his role concluded in June.

 “There are always things that keep me busy,” said Richardson. “It’s not like I have all of my eggs in one basket.”

 Richardson’s life in the diplomatic fast lane eventually led him and his wife Susan to seek a quieter abode, initially selecting Beaufort, South Carolina as their new home.

 “In August 2014, we did a tour of the southeast to see where we wanted to move,” recalled Richardson. “We started in Morehead City and went down the coast to Savannah, Georgia.”

 However, the nine-hour journey to visit family in the northeast was not ideal. Considering the proximity of their two sons in Virginia and Richardson’s sister’s property in Cypress Landing, the pivotal decision to move closer to family ultimately influenced their choice of Chocowinity as their new residence in 2019.

 As Richardson has settled into the rhythm of Chocowinity life, his journey is a testament to the power of diverse experiences and the pursuit of knowledge. His story exemplifies a life dedicated to understanding the complexities of our world and sharing those insights with others.

 Readers interested in purchasing Lloyd Richardson’s books can find them at www.lloydrichardson.com.