Amb. James Smith

Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia President; C&M International Ltd.

Saudi Arabia and the GCC: A Time of Trial and Transition

About the Speaker

Former U.S. Ambassador James Smith joined C&M International, Ltd. (CMI), the international policy consulting firm affiliated with Crowell & Moring LLP, as president, in June of this year. A seasoned diplomat with international business experience, Smith is a former U.S. Air Force brigadier general and F-15 fighter pilot who served in Operation Desert Storm.

Smith served as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2009 to 2013. He strengthened U.S.-Saudi business relations in many industry sectors, resulting in 400 U.S. companies exporting to Saudi Arabia for the first time and a doubling of U.S. exports to the Kingdom.

While in the Air Force, Smith commanded the 94th Fighter Squadron, the 325th Operations Group, and the 18th Fighter Wing in Okinawa, Japan, where he led the largest fighter wing in the U.S. Air Force. In this role, he worked to expand relations with the local communities through a campaign called "Bases Without Fences." In senior leadership positions for multinational corporations, Smith spearheaded efforts involving strategic planning, manufacturing, international business development, and political risk analysis.

Smith is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. In addition, he earned an M.A. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and is a graduate of the Naval War College and the National War College, where he served as a professor of national security strategy.