Chas W. Freeman
Chairman of Projects International Inc. & Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Chargé d’affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1972.)
Ambassador Freeman is a frequent public speaker and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, “Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige,” was published in March 2013. “America’s Misadventures in the Middle East” came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of “The Diplomat’s Dictionary,” the companion volume to “Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy.”
Mr. Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University, as well as a law degree from the Harvard Law School. He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.
He speaks fluent Chinese, French, Spanish and conversational Arabic. Mr. Freeman is the recipient of two Distinguished Public Service Awards, three Presidential Meritorious Service Awards and a Distinguished Honor Award.