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Joseph W. Westphal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Westphal
Official Photo of Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal.jpg
United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
In office
March 28, 2014 – January 9, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJames B. Smith
Succeeded byJohn Abizaid
United States Under Secretary of the Army
In office
September 21, 2009 – March 28, 2014
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byNelson Ford
Succeeded byBrad Carson
Acting United States Secretary of the Army
In office
March 5, 2001 – May 31, 2001
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byGregory R. Dahlberg (acting)
Succeeded byThomas E. White
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
In office
June 1998 – March 5, 2001
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byMartin Lancaster
Succeeded byMichael Parker
Personal details
Born (1948-01-26) January 26, 1948 (age 72)
Santiago, Chile
EducationAdelphi University (BA)
University of Missouri, Columbia (MA, PhD)

Joseph W. Westphal (born January 26, 1948) is an American politician and diplomat who was most recently the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He served as the 30th United States Under Secretary of the Army from 2009 to 2014.

Early life and education

Westphal was born in Santiago, Chile.[1] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Adelphi University in New York[2] and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri.[3]


Westphal served as the head of the Department of Political Science at Oklahoma State University between 1975 and 1987 and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University while working at the law firm of Patton Boggs.[4] He served as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works from 1998 to 2001 and the Acting Secretary of the Army in 2001.[5] He also served as Chancellor of the University of Maine System[1] from 2002–2006 and was a professor of Political Science at the University of Maine from 2002 – 2009.[6] He later served as the Provost, at The New School in New York City.[7]

Westphal was a member of President Obama’s Transition Team for Defense[8] and was appointed as the United States Under Secretary of the Army in September 2009. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia on March 26, 2014 and sworn in the same day.[9][10] Westphal is a Senior Global Fellow and the Chung Sun Term Professor at the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies at the Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania. Westphal is also a Senior Fellow at the Wharton Leadership Program at UPenn and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.


  1. ^ a b Heil, Emily (October 21, 2013). "Senior Army official said to be in line for Saudi ambassadorship". Washington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  2. ^ Cohen, Ruth-Ellen (October 19, 2002). "An Army of One;  New UMS chancellor already making mark on state education scene". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  3. ^ "U.S. army undersecretary picked to be next Saudi envoy". The Peninsula Times. November 8, 2013. Archived from the original on September 20, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  4. ^ Cohen, Ruth-Ellen (February 7, 2002). "Westphal selected for UMS top post; Ex-Army official unanimous choice". The Bangor Daily News. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  5. ^ William Gardner Bell. Secretaries of war and secretaries of the army: portr. & biograph. sketches. Government Printing Office. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-16-087635-6.
  6. ^ "Looking for needles in a federal haystack". Washington Post. November 7, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  7. ^ Santora, Marc; Foderaro, Lisa W. (December 11, 2008). "New School Faculty Votes No Confidence in Kerrey". The New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  8. ^ Knickmeyer, Ellen (November 8, 2013). "U.S. Army undersecretary picked to be Saudi envoy". WSJ. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  9. ^ "Obama and Biden have managed to get a few ambassador confirmations while on the road". Washington Post. March 27, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  10. ^ "Joseph W. Westphal". Embassy of the United States, Riyadh Saudi Arabia. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2014.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Martin Lancaster
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
Succeeded by
Michael Parker
Preceded by
Gregory Dahlberg
United States Secretary of the Army

Succeeded by
Thomas White
Preceded by
Nelson Ford
United States Under Secretary of the Army
Succeeded by
Brad Carson
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
James Smith
United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Succeeded by
John Abizaid
This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 18:17
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