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Crocker to become dean of George Bush School of Government and Public Service

Following in the footsteps of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker has been named dean of Texas A&M University’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service. Crocker will take the helm of the college, named after the elder ex-President George H.W. Bush, on Jan. 25. “It is the mission of our ...

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575896_091207_crocker2.jpg

Following in the footsteps of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker has been named dean of Texas A&M University's George Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Crocker will take the helm of the college, named after the elder ex-President George H.W. Bush, on Jan. 25. "It is the mission of our school to help inculcate into each of our students a commitment to public service with integrity, and I can think of few American diplomats who have so embodied this concept as has Ambassador Crocker," the 41st president said in a statement.

Crocker retired from the Foreign Service after serving as ambassador to Baghdad until 2009. He has also has served as the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon (President George W. Bush called him "America's Lawrence of Arabia"). His extensive regional experience is credited with aiding the improvement of the situation in Iraq following years of cultural and political missteps.

Following in the footsteps of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker has been named dean of Texas A&M University’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Crocker will take the helm of the college, named after the elder ex-President George H.W. Bush, on Jan. 25. “It is the mission of our school to help inculcate into each of our students a commitment to public service with integrity, and I can think of few American diplomats who have so embodied this concept as has Ambassador Crocker,” the 41st president said in a statement.

Crocker retired from the Foreign Service after serving as ambassador to Baghdad until 2009. He has also has served as the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon (President George W. Bush called him “America’s Lawrence of Arabia”). His extensive regional experience is credited with aiding the improvement of the situation in Iraq following years of cultural and political missteps.

Gates was dean of the Bush school for two years before being named president of Texas A&M, but doesn’t seem ready to return to College Station, TX, any time soon. When he was tapped in 2006 to replace Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, he was seen as the “secretary for Iraq and Afghanistan” and was widely expected to leave at the end of Bush’s term.

But after a personal appeal from Obama, Gates decided to stay on and began implementing large-scale reforms at the Pentagon focused around his desire to rebalance the military toward what he sees as the more urgent national security challenges.

Gates famously discarded the clock he used to keep on his desk counting down to the end of the Bush administration. Sources close to the secretary say that while no one knows Gates’s ultimate thinking on the issue, they expect him to stay in the job for the bulk of 2010, possibly leaving around the next elections, if at all.

In September, Gates would only say about the possibility of his staying on for the long haul, “We’ll see.”

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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