News from the Bush School

Ambassador Crocker Named Dean of TAMU’s Bush School

December 04, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents has approved the appointment of Ryan C. Crocker as dean of Texas A&M University’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service, effective January 25, 2010.  Most recently, Ambassador Crocker served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009.

Upon learning of Crocker’s selection President George H. W. Bush said, “I am thrilled that Ambassador Ryan Crocker has agreed to take the helm of the Bush School and continue building on the record of academic excellence his predecessors have established.

“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.  His becoming Dean of the Bush School is a great addition to the Aggie family.”

Crocker was selected for the post following an extensive national search. In his new role, he will build on the Bush School’s strong programs in public service and international affairs that developed under the leadership of Richard A. Chilcoat, who served as the Bush School’s first permanent dean from July 2001 through December 2008.

“It is a tremendous honor to have Ambassador Crocker, a distinguished international statesman and scholar, join the Bush School as its dean,” said Interim President R. Bowen Loftin ‘71. “Ambassador Crocker’s appointment speaks directly to the Bush School’s mission of educating principled leaders in public and international affairs, conducting research and performing service. We look forward to his work in enriching the education and experiences of our graduate students as the Bush School continues its trajectory of national prominence.”

Crocker retired from the U.S Foreign Service on April 30, 2009, after a career of more than 37 years. In addition to his post in Iraq, he led diplomatic missions in Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon.  In addition, he has served as Professor of National Security Strategy and later International Affairs Advisor at the National War College.  He also held posts in Iran, Qatar, Iraq, Egypt, and Washington, D.C.

Crocker grew up in an Air Force family, attending schools in Morocco, Canada, and Turkey, as well as the U.S. He received a B.A. in English and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Whitman College (Washington).  He also pursued graduate studies in public policy as a Mid-Career Fellow at Princeton University.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award.  He also holds the State Department Distinguished Honor Award, Award for Valor, three Superior Honor Awards, the American Foreign Service Association Rivkin Award, and the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for “exceptional courage and leadership” in Afghanistan. In 2004, President George W. Bush conferred on him the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the Foreign Service. 

In January 2009, Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award. In May 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the establishment of the Ryan C. Crocker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Expeditionary Diplomacy.”

Interim Provost Karan L. Watson cited Crocker’s executive experience and almost four decades of service to the nation as key reasons for his selection.

“Ambassador Crocker’s distinguished career as a foreign service officer and his strong managerial and communication skills will serve him well as he leads the Bush School in its next stage of development,” said Watson.

Watson also commended A. Benton Cocanougher, professor emeritus of marketing and dean emeritus of the Mays Business School, for his service as interim dean of the Bush School for the past year.