Retired Ambassador John Craig to speak at UH-Clear Lake

3-1 Ambassador John CraigUniversity of Houston-Clear Lake’s School of Human Sciences and Humanities will host the Symposium on the Middle East Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7-9 p.m., in the university’s Bayou Building Garden Room, 2700 Bay Area Blvd.

Ambassador John Craig will be the guest presenter and discuss the Middle East, the current status of stability in the region and relationships among nations impacting the global community, namely Egypt and Syria.

“Ambassador Craig’s visit to UHCL is a rare opportunity for students to work directly with a professional diplomat who has wide-ranging experiences in diplomacy and peace-building, and a tremendous opportunity for the public who attends his Tuesday night address to the university community to gain insight into a rapidly-changing Middle East,” says Associate Professor of Sociology Mike McMullen, who serves as a faculty adviser of the UHCL Model Arab League Student Organization.

The event comes at the perfect time for UHCL’s Model Arab League team who will be representing Oman this year at the Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce Regional University Model Arab League conference in mid-February held at the UH Main Campus’ Honors College, and the National University Model Arab League in Washington D.C. held at Georgetown University March 28-30.

“Ambassador Craig’s visit to UHCL will include some one-on-one time with the students helping them prepare for their trip to Washington D.C.,” says Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Studies Maria Curtis, who also serves as a Model Arab League Student Organization Faculty Adviser. “We have had UHCL students attending Model Arab League competitions successfully for several years, with some students even receiving national recognition.

“This year we are thrilled to be able to provide our students with this exclusive opportunity to train with a seasoned statesman who has served in Syria and Oman, and has extensive experience across the Arab world. Ambassador John Craig’s visit marks a new chapter in UHCL’s commitment to fostering global awareness on our campus”

As a member of the U.S. Foreign Service, Craig had assignments overseas and in the State Department. He served as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in the Damascus, Syria and at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Columbia. Upon his return to the states, he was appointed to lead the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the State Department’s Near East Bureau.

In June 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated Craig to be the U.S. ambassador to Oman. After three years in the post, he returned to the United States and was appointed by President George W. Bush to be special assistant to the president.

In 2003, Craig was appointed Regional Vice President at Boeing International Corporation and then in 2008, he joined The Jadwin Group as a full partner, working out of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and is still serving as an adviser for the Joint Aviation Development Company, an investment for The Jadwin Group based in Oman. More recently, Craig accepted a position from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa., as the Director of the Center for Global Citizenship, though he retains his business activities in the Middle East.

All are welcome to attend this free presentation. The event is sponsored by the School of Human Sciences and Humanities and the Anthropology, Cross-Cultural Studies, Sociology, and Social Work programs. For more information, email Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Cross Cultural Studies Maria Curtis, Curtis@uhcl.edu, or call 281-283-3429.

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