About the Author
Since 1995, Chas W. Freeman, Jr., has chaired Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that helps American and foreign clients to arrange business transactions internationally. Previously, during a distinguished government career spanning three decades, he negotiated on behalf of the United States with over 100 foreign governments in East and South Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and both Western and Eastern Europe. In 2006, he was a member of the Iraq Study Group. Freeman hit the headlines in the early weeks of the Obama administration when Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis C. Blair named him Chair of the National Intelligence Council, citing his "diverse background in defense, diplomacy and intelligence." News of his impending appointment met a firestorm of criticism from numerous strongly pro-Israeli commentators, who lambasted Freeman for the view he had often expressed that the U.S. needed to maintain an even-handed stance between Israel and the Arab countries. In early March 2009, Freeman withdrew his name from consideration for the position and issued a statement, laying the blame for the campaign against him on a network of pro-Israel activists. As Ambassador to Saudi Arabia during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990-91), Freeman led an effort that more than doubled non-military exports to the Kingdom while managing the largest diplomatic mission in the world under the conditions of that crisis. His long involvement with China began with his service as the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's historic 1972 visit to Beijing. In addition to Chinese, Freeman speaks French and Spanish at the professional level, and can carry on conversations in Arabic and several other languages. His final position in government was Assistant Secretary of Defense, responsible for managing defense relations with all regions of the world except the countries of the former Soviet Union. He has received numerous high honors and awards for international negotiation and policy and management innovation.