Release Date: October 7, 2004
Former Ambassador to Discuss Middle Eastern Issues during ASU Visit
Ambassador John W. Limbert, an authority on the Middle East and president of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), will speak on "Reflections on Foreign Service Duty in Iraq, Iran and the Middle East" during a public presentation Thursday, Oct. 14, at Angelo State University.
Limbert, who was one of 52 American hostages held by Iran in 1979-80 and later became the U.S. State Department's deputy coordinator for counterterrorism, will talk at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, in the C.J. Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center. His presentation is open free to the public.
Limbert served as ambassador to the Republic of Mauritania from 2000 until early 2003 when he became one of thefirst U.S. civilian officials to enter Baghdad with the Organization for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. Among his responsibilities during his six-month assignment as a senior Foreign Service officer in Baghdad was cultural affairs, including restoring the looted Iraqi Museum.
With his extensive State Department experience, Limbert is an authority on Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, the Islamic World, Africa and the role of diplomacy in dealing with those regions. He has been a career foreign service officer since 1973 with tours in Algeria, Djibouti, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. From 1981-84 he taught political science at the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1991-92 he was a senior fellow at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs.
A native of Washington, D.C., and a resident of Stockbridge, Vt., since 1980, Limbert holds his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University where he specialized in history and Middle Eastern studies. Before joining the Foreign Service, he taught in Iran, as a Peace Corps Volunteer and as an English instructor at Shiraz University. He has written numerous articles on Middle Eastern subjects and has authored Iran: At War with History and Shiraz in the Age of Hafez.
He holds the Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award, Superior Honor Award and Award for Valor as well as the American Foreign Service Association's Rivkin Award for creative dissent. His foreign languages are Persian, Arabic and French.
During his ASU visit, Limbert will speak to a variety of classes ininternational business, business administration, management, government, communications and modern languages. His visit is supported by ASU's College of Liberal and Fine Arts, Government Department, History Department and University Center Program Council.