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Opening Speaker: Ryan Crocker | Closing Speaker: TBD



Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University;
former US Ambassador to Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan
 



Ryan Crocker is Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University, where he holds the Edward and Howard Kruse Endowed Chair. He was the James Schlesinger Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia (2012-2014), and he served as the first Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University (2012-2013). Previously, Crocker served in the foreign service for over 37 years, retiring in 2009 before being recalled to active duty by President Obama to serve as US Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011. He has served as US Ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007), Syria (1998-2001), Kuwait (1994-1997), and Lebanon (1990-1993).

Ambassador Crocker was born in Spokane, Washington. He grew up in an Air Force family, attending schools in Morocco, Canada, and Turkey, as well as the US. He received a BA in English in 1971 from Whitman College. and joined the foreign service that same year. He held assignments in Washington DC as well as in Iran, Qatar, Iraq, and Egypt. He was assigned to the American Embassy in Beirut during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the bombings of the embassy and the Marine barracks in 1983.

Additional Information
Ambassador Crocker received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2001 from his alma mater, Whitman College. He also holds an honorary Doctorate in National Security Affairs from the National Defense University (2010), honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Gonzaga University (2009) and Seton Hall University (2012), as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the American University of Afghanistan (2013). He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the Association of American Ambassadors. In August 2013, he was confirmed by the United States Senate to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors which oversees all U.S. government-supported civilian international media. He is also on the Board of Directors of Mercy Corps International.

Ambassador Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 2009. His other awards include the Veterans of Foreign Wars Dwight D. Eisenhower Award (2014), Presidential Distinguished and Meritorious Service Awards, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award (2008 and 2012), the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service (1997 and 2008) and for Distinguished Public Service (2012), the Award for Valor and the American Foreign Service Association Rivkin Award for creative dissent. He received the National Clandestine Service’s Donovan Award in 2009 and the Director of Central Intelligence’s Director’s Award in 2012. In 2011, he was awarded the Marshall Medal by the Association of the United States Army. In January 2002, he was sent to Afghanistan to reopen the American Embassy in Kabul. He subsequently received the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for "exceptional courage and leadership" in Afghanistan. In September 2004, President Bush conferred on him the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the Foreign Service.


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