The Middle East Institute hosted the Washington-area release of the new memoir, Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11 (Potomac Books, 2015) by Robert W. Jordan, former U.S. ambassador and international attorney. In his book, Amb. Jordan invites readers to a front row seat to history, providing them a rare insider view of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 Al-Qaeda terrorist attacks. In this candid account of America's conduct of policy, warfare, and intelligence gathering, Ambassador Jordan offers important insights into the political, economic, and social changes occurring in Saudi Arabia and its neighbors in this critical region.
Ambassador Robert W. Jordan is diplomat in residence and adjunct professor of political science in the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. He served as U.S. mbassador to Saudi Arabia from 2001-2003. He took charge of his mission in the wake of the attacks of September 11 at a critical time in U.S.-Saudi relations. He was a partner in the international law firm Baker Botts L.L.P. for many years and headed the firm’s Middle East practice based in Dubai. He is vice chair of the Tower Center board of directors, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a past president of the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial panel of arbitrators, the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and the London Court of International Arbitration. He also serves on the advisory board of the Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and is a frequent commentator with international media including CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, and the New York Times.
Ambassador Wendy Chamberlin has been president of the Middle East Institute since 2007. Previously, as deputy high commissioner for refugees from 2004 to 2007, she supervised the administration of the U.N. humanitarian organization. A 29-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, she was ambassador to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002, when she played a key role in securing Pakistan’s cooperation in the U.S.-led campaign against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on September 11.