Joseph W. Westphal

Photo of Joseph W. Westphal
U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Term of Appointment: 03/26/2014 to present

Joseph W. Westphal was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on March 26, 2014.

Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Westphal was the Under Secretary of the Army and its Chief Management Officer from 2009 to 2014. In that capacity, Secretary Westphal managed a force of more than one million soldiers and several hundred thousand civilians. He also held the positions of Assistant Secretary of the Army from 1998 to 2000 and Acting Secretary of the Army in 2001.

Ambassador Westphal’s career spans more than 40 years of service in higher education and government. He began his career as a professor of political science at Oklahoma State University (OSU) and later served as a department head at OSU, as Director of the Tishman Environmental Center and Provost at the New School University, and as Chancellor of the University of Maine system. In government, he worked for both the House and Senate for more than twelve years. He has held positions in the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, working in the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Defense.

Ambassador Westphal received a B.A. from Adelphi University, an M.A. from Oklahoma State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia.