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.