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March 5, 2007


Robert Jordan
(click photo for larger image)

DALLAS (SMU) – Former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Robert Jordan has been named Diplomat-in-Residence at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. The Diplomat-in-Residence program brings to the campus world leaders to teach and interact with students.

“Ambassador Jordan served during one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history,” said James F. Hollifield, professor of political science and director of the Tower Center. “He brings experience and expertise in diplomacy, foreign policy, and national security into the classroom—this is an extraordinary opportunity for SMU students”

Mr. Jordan has been a member of the Tower Center board of directors for three years. He is teaching a course on current problems in Middle East politics. Previous Tower Center diplomats-in-residence include former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Robert Strauss, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher and Vice President Richard Cheney.

“It is a great honor to be named Diplomat-in-Residence at SMU, and to be joining such a distinguished faculty,” Jordan said. “I am delighted to become part of this academic community and to have the opportunity to interact with such bright and motivated students.”

Robert Jordan was selected by President George W. Bush to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 2001. Serving from 2001 through 2003, he took charge of the mission in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that radically affected U.S.-Saudi relations.

He worked closely with senior Saudi and American leaders to enlist Saudi support for removing the Taliban from Afghanistan, liberating the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein and promoting the Middle East peace process. As ambassador, he worked closely with President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell in matters such as the historic presidential summit meetings in Crawford, Texas, and Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Mr. Jordan vigorously pursued stronger Saudi collaboration in the war on terrorism and terrorist financing, and advocated promotion of American business, human rights, democracy and economic reform in the Kingdom, including reforms needed to qualify for Saudi accession to the World Trade Organization.

Following his service in the Kingdom, Mr. Jordan resumed his law career at Baker Botts in 2004 where he practices international business and dispute resolution. Additionally, he has served as personal attorney to President George W. Bush and has advised major corporations in shareholder litigation and in antitrust, corporate governance, and dispute resolution matters.

He is a member of the American Arbitration Association International and Commercial Panels of Arbitrators, the National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution and The London Court of International Arbitration. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he serves as president of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations and as a member of the board of directors of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies. Mr. Jordan also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration of the Center for American and International Law.

“Bob brings not only the academic knowledge but, perhaps more importantly, the practical, real-life experience of having lived and worked in the Middle East,” said Jack Vaughn, chair of the Tower Center board of directors. “He will be a formidable combination for imparting sound knowledge to our students.”

The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies was established to support teaching and research programs in international studies and national security policy, focusing upon the institutions that structure national and international decision-making. The Center is named in honor of SMU alumnus John G. Tower, who served as Texas' representative in the United States Senate from 1961 to 1985.

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