James B. Smith

Note: Amb. Smith is a member of MEI's International Advisory Council, but is not an MEI-affiliated scholar. We are not able to assist with interview requests.

Ambassador James B. Smith served as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2009-2013.

Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Smith had served in a variety of executive positions with Raytheon Company involving corporate strategic planning, aircraft manufacturing, and international business development.

Smith had a 28-year career in the United States Air Force and served around the world in a variety of operational assignments, including combat missions during Operation Desert Storm.

He held a variety of staff assignments involving coalition partners, and served as Air Force chair and professor of military strategy at the National War College. During his final assignment at U.S. Joint Forces Command he led Millennium Challenge, the largest military transformation experiment in history.  He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1998 and retired from the Air Force in 2002.