Following his nomination by President Barack Obama, the U.S. Senate has unanimously voted to confirm Northeastern alumnus James F. Jeffrey, BA ’69, as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Jeffrey, who received his bachelor’s degree in history from Northeastern, most recently served as the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, a post he assumed in October 2008.
Jeffrey arrived in Iraq on Wednesday. A career diplomat and U.S. Army veteran, Jeffrey is a member of the U.S. Foreign Service and has served in various roles, including deputy national security advisor to former President George W. Bush.
“Ambassador Jeffrey exemplifies a quality we seek to instill in today’s students: a commitment to service on a global scale,” said President Joseph E. Aoun. “The Northeastern community is proud of his many achievements, and we wish him success in this most critical new assignment.”
In a news release, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq outlined Jeffrey’s illustrious career, during which he has displayed extraordinary leadership. The Senate’s confirmation returns Jeffrey to a country he knows well. He held the post of senior advisor to the Secretary of State for Iraq from August 2005 to August 2006, and previously served as the chargé d’affaires to Iraq from March 2005 to June 2005. He also served as deputy chief of mission in Baghdad from June 2004 to March 2005.
His other key assignments included the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where he led the Iran Policy Team and coordinated public diplomacy. Earlier in his career, Jeffrey served as the U.S. ambassador to Albania from 2002 to 2004, and as the deputy chief of mission in Kuwait.
At a recent lecture at Northeastern, Jeffrey recalled receiving his first lesson in political theory as a freshman in 1964, adding that his experiences at the university served as a catalyst for his career in the U.S. Foreign Service.
Jeffrey signed up for the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in 1964, and went on to serve as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army in Germany and Vietnam between 1969 and 1976. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University.