U.S. Embassy – Riyadh
For Immediate Release
May 2, 2019
New U.S. Ambassador Arrives in Riyadh
Ambassador of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia John Abizaid arrived in Riyadh on Thursday, May 2. Ambassador Abizaid was received upon his arrival by Deputy Chief of Mission Martina Strong. Ambassador Abizaid was sworn in as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in April 2019.
Upon his arrival, Ambassador Abizaid said, “I am deeply honored to serve in this role, and I look forward to contributing to the important relationship between our two countries. Saudi Arabia and the United States work together every day to protect the security of our two countries, promote prosperity and economic development, and build the people-to-people ties that keep our relationship strong.”
Ambassador Abizaid retired from the United States Army in 2007. During his thirty-four year military career he rose from infantry platoon leader to four-star general and became the longest-serving commander of United States Central Command. In addition to his command position in the field, he served as the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Staff and then Director of the Joint Staff from 2000 – 2003. Ambassador Abizaid has extensive experience in the Middle East.
Since his retirement from the army, Ambassador Abizaid worked as a private consultant, forming his own consulting company, JPA Partners, LLC. He was the inaugural Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and held the Distinguished Chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has worked with the Preventative Defense Project at Stanford University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and has been part of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, among many other responsibilities. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He recently served as the senior advisor for the Secretary of Defense to the Ukrainian Minister of Defense.
Ambassador Abizaid was a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, receiving his B.S. in 1973. He received a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Area Studies from Harvard University in 1981. Ambassador Abizaid retired as highly decorated Army officer who earned the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star. He holds other military honors from Germany, France, Australia, Afghanistan and Egypt.