Obama names former UMS chancellor to be next ambassador to Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON — Former University of Maine System Chancellor Joseph W. Westphal was nominated Wednesday by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Westphal was among five nominees announced Wednesday in a White House statement.

“I am grateful these accomplished individuals have agreed to join this Administration, and I’m confident they will serve ably in these important roles,” Obama said in the statement. “I look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”

Since 2009, Westphal has served as undersecretary of the Army, the second highest-ranking civilian position in that branch of the military. He served as acting secretary of the Army from March through May 2011.

His tenure as chancellor of the UMS ran from 2002 to 2006. He resigned in April 2006, but remained the highest-paid state employee in 2007 with a salary of $208,000 per year for his position as a University of Maine professor, a job he took after resigning as chancellor.

After leaving Maine and before becoming undersecretary of the Army, Westphal served in a number of positions at The New School University in New York City.

Before coming to Maine, Westphal served in a number of high-level government positions, including acting secretary of the Army, assistant secretary of the Army in charge of the Army Corps of Engineers, and senior policy adviser on water issues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

He was also the head of the political science department at Oklahoma State University, executive director of the Congressional Sunbelt Caucus and served two years as special assistant to a Mississippi senator.

The Senate must confirm his nomination.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



Steve  Dosh's picture

Obama names former UMS chancellor . . ....

Mainers 17:10 hst ? Friday
President Obama does not name former Maine U S Senator Olympia Snowe to be . . any thing . ..
Good book . Good read ?
/s, Steve Dosh , FSO ( ret. )


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...