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Chas. W. Freeman, Jr. became Chairman of Projects International in 1995, after a distinguished thirty-year career in U.S. diplomacy which included positions as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Over these years, Ambassador Freeman negotiated on behalf of the United States with over one hundred foreign governments in East and South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and both Western and Eastern Europe. He is active in supporting Projects International’s clients in all these regions of the world today.
Ambassador Freeman’s government service began in 1965, when he entered the United States Foreign Service. After three years in India, he entered a long period of involvement with China, serving in Taiwan and as the principal American interpreter during President Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to Beijing. He was a member of the advance team that opened the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing in 1973. From 1979 to 1981, he directed Chinese Affairs at the Department of State. He served as Chargé and Deputy Chief of Mission at the American embassy in Beijing (1981–84).
After similarly heading up the U.S. embassy in Bangkok (1984–86), Ambassador Freeman returned to Washington as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1986 to 1989. In that position, he played a key role in the U.S. diplomatic effort that achieved the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola and the independence of Namibia from South Africa. He became U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 1989, serving in that capacity through 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. His last government position before he took up his current corporate and other responsibilities, was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (1993–94), responsible for managing the defense relations of the United States with all regions of the world except the former Soviet Union.
Ambassador Freeman attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and received his A.B. from Yale University, as well as a J.D. from the Harvard Law School. He speaks fluent Chinese, French, and Spanish, and can hold conversations in Arabic and several other languages.
Ambassador Freeman is the recipient of numerous high honors and awards for international negotiation and policy and management innovation, including two Distinguished Public Service Awards, three Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, a Distinguished Honor Award, and the Order of ’Abd Al-’Aziz, 1st Class, from Saudi Arabia. He was a Distinguished Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace from 1994 to 1995. He is currently, inter alia, president of the Middle East Policy Council, co-chair of the U.S. China Policy Foundation, vice-chair of the Atlantic Council, a trustee of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a director of the Pacific Pension Institute, and is a member of the International Advisory Board of China National Offshore Oil Co. Ltd. (CNOOC).
Ambassador Freeman is a frequently invited speaker at government ministries and institutions, including in the United States, China, India, Japan, and Korea. He is the author of numerous articles and commentaries on developments in the Arabian Peninsula, East Asia, and transatlantic relations as well as two books on statecraft and diplomacy.
China, Taiwan , and the U.S.: A Coming Conflict? Session Two
as author at MIT World Series - CIS Forum,
together with: Stephen W. Van Evera (moderator), Thomas J. Christensen, Harvey Feldman,