July 9, 2015
DALLAS (SMU) – Before he became diplomat-in-residence and adjunct professor of political science with SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, Robert Jordan served from 2001-03 as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. When Jordan was first nominated to the posting, it was a time of peace. By the time he assumed the job, terrorists had struck the twin towers on 9/11 and the world had changed.
In his new book, Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11 (Potomac Books, Inc, 2015), Jordan recounts his two-year stint as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, where he worked closely with Crown Prince Abdullah and other Saudi leaders on sensitive issues, such as terrorism and human rights, while also maintaining the Saudi’s cooperation with American interests in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Desert Diplomat turns an eye on American politics, as well. Jordan reflects on experiences with Washington’s power players, such as President George W. Bush; Vice President Dick Cheney; cabinet members Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice; CIA Director George Tenet and U.S. Army Gen. Tommy Franks, and takes a close look at the sometimes-dysfunctional crossroads of American foreign policy, warfare and intelligence gathering.
Jordan, who joined SMU in 2005, will teach “Government and Politics of the Middle East” this fall.
Listen to Robert Jordan discuss Desert Diplomat on KERA’s THINK.