Charles (Chas) W. Freeman, Jr.
Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is the President Emeritus, Middle East Policy Council; former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs; former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Amb. Freeman began his diplomatic career in India. He directed Chinese Affairs at the Department of State from 1979 to 1981, after serving on the advance team that opened the US Liaison Office in Beijing in 1973. In 1972, he was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's path-breaking visit to China. He was Chargé and Deputy Chief of Mission at the American embassy in Beijing from 1981 to 1984. and in Bangkok from 1984 to 1986.
From 1986 to 1989, Amb. Freeman served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. In that position, he played a key role in the United States diplomatic effort that achieved the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola and the independence of Namibia from South Africa.
He became Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1989, serving in that capacity throughout the Gulf War, and leading an effort that more than doubled non-military exports to the kingdom as he managed the largest diplomatic mission in the world under crisis conditions.
From 1993 to 1994 he was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, responsible for managing the defence relations of the United States with all regions of the world except the former Soviet Union.
For over a decade following his retirement from public service, he served concurrently as Co-Chair of the United States China Policy Foundation, President of the Middle East Policy Council, and Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council of the United States, and as a Trustee of the Institute for Defense Analysis. He is currently a member of the board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Since 1995, he has chaired Projects International, Inc., a US- based global business development firm with current activities on five continents.
Amb. Freeman is the recipient of numerous honours and awards for international negotiation and policy, including two Distinguished Public Service Awards, three Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, a Distinguished Honour Award, the Central Intelligence Agency Medallion, and the Order of ''Abd Al Aziz,” 1st Class, from Saudi Arabia. He is the author of four books, including "Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy (1997)," "The Diplomat's Dictionary ((2nd Edition 2010)," and "America's Misadventures in the Middle East (2010)."