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Steve Hinnefeld
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, June 11, 2009

Indiana University alumnus to be nominated as ambassador to Saudi Arabia

June 11, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Brig. Gen. James B. Smith, an alumnus of Indiana University Bloomington, will be nominated as ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President Barack Obama announced.

Smith received a Master of Arts degree in 1975 in the Department of History, part of the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. He holds a bachelor's degree in military history from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

James Smith

Brig. Gen. James B. Smith

Obama announced his intent to nominate Smith and several other ambassadors on June 4. "I am grateful that these individuals will help represent our nation abroad during this important time for our country and the world," the president said.

Smith retired from the U.S. Air Force in October 2002. He has been employed by Raytheon Co., most recently as business development executive for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems.

In the Air Force, Smith served as deputy commander at the Joint Warfighting Center of the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, Va., where he managed the joint force exercise and training development program. His distinguished aviation career includes combat sorties during Desert Storm.

He commanded the 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron and 325th Operations Group, served as CSAF chair at the National War College, was vice director of operations for the North American Air Defense Command and commanded the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base in Japan.