Distinguished Lecture: “Getting Beyond the Curse of Oil,” with the Honorable Robert W. Jordan (Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia)

Join the KBH Energy Center and the UT Energy Institute for a distinguished lecture by the Honorable Robert W. Jordan, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The lecture is titled “Getting Beyond the Curse of Oil.” Ambassador Jordan will discuss his book, Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11 (Potomac Books, 2015).

Boxed lunches will be available in the Jamail Pavillion, adjacent to the Eidman Courtroom, after the lecture, because food is not allowed inside the courtroom. We will have tables and chairs in the Jamail Pavillion for those registrants who wish to stay after the lecture and enjoy lunch.

Registration is required. Registration is available at: gettingbeyondthecurseofoil.eventbrite.com.

View driving directions and parking instructions.

You may park in the San Jacinto Garage (SJG) (parking map).* Exit the garage via the third floor and walk out onto Trinity St. Head northeast on Trinity St. to the Connally Center for the Administration of Justice (CCJ) . The lecture will be held in CCJ Room 2.306 (Eidman Courtroom) on Level 2 of the law school (law school map). After you enter CCJ, you will be in the Joseph D. Jamail Pavillion, and the Eidman Courtroom will be on your right.

*We are not able to validate parking. 

In the spring of 2001, George W. Bush selected Dallas attorney Robert W. Jordan as the ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Jordan s nomination sped through Congress in the wake of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and he was at his post by early October, though with no prior diplomatic experience, as Saudi Arabia mandates that the U.S. Ambassador be a political appointee with the ear of the president. Hence Jordan had to learn on the job how to run an embassy, deal with a foreign culture, and protect U.S. interests, all following the most significant terrorist attacks on the United States in history.

From 2001 through 2003, Jordan worked closely with Crown Prince Abdullah and other Saudi leaders on sensitive issues of terrorism and human rights, all the while trying to maintain a positive relationship to ensure their cooperation with the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. At the same time he worked with top officials in Washington, including President Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, and Tommy Franks. Desert Diplomat discusses these relationships as well as the historic decisions of Jordan s tenure and provides a candid and thoughtful assessment of the sometimes distressing dysfunction in the conduct of American foreign policy, warfare, and intelligence gathering. Still involved in the Middle East, Jordan also offers important insights into the political, economic, and social changes occurring in this critical region, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Robert Jordan's Desert Diplomat book cover

Robert Jordan is Diplomat in Residence and Adjunct Professor of Political Science 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. He took charge of his mission in the wake of the attacks of September 11 at a critical time in U.S.-Saudi relations. 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.

He is Vice Chair of the Tower Center Board of Directors and of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a past president of the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial Panel of Arbitrators, the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and the London Court of International Arbitration. 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 in 2015.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business
UT Energy Institute