Robert Jordan is Diplomat in Residence and Professor of Practice in the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2001-2003. Arriving in the wake of the attacks of September 11, he led American efforts to enlist Saudi cooperation in countering terrorist activity and adopting economic, social and governance reforms to qualify for membership in the World Trade Organization.
He was a partner in the international law firm Baker Botts L.L.P. for many years and headed the firm’s Middle East practice based in Dubai until his retirement in 2014. He is Vice Chair of the Tower Center Board of Directors, the World Affairs Council of Dallas Fort Worth, and the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute. He is a Trustee of the Southwestern Medical Foundation, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a past president of the Dallas Bar Association. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for American and International Law and the Board of Directors of the Tate Lecture Series at Southern Methodist University. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and is a frequent commentator with international media including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and the New York Times. His memoir, Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11, was published by Potomac Books.