William Rugh

Professor of the Practice


William A. Rugh

Current position:

Professor of Practice, College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, since 2014


 BA, government, Oberlin College

 MA, international relations, Johns Hopkins University

 PhD, international relations, Columbia University

Previous employment:

1964-1994: United States Foreign Service Officer

1964-65 Junior Officer Trainee, U.S.I.A., Foreign Service Institute, Beirut

1965-66 Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Cairo

1966-67 Assistant Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Jidda

1967-69 Branch Public Affairs Officer, Riyadh

1969-71 Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Jidda

1971-72 Senior Policy Officer for the Near East, USIA

1972-73 International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

1973-76 Deputy Director, USIA’s Near East and North Africa Bureau

1976-81 Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Cairo

1981-84 Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Damascus

1984-87 U.S. Ambassador to Yemen

1987-89 Diplomat in Residence, the Fletcher School, Tufts University       

1989-92 Director, USIA’s Near East and South Asia Bureau

1992-95 U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates

1995-2003: President and CEO of AMIDEAST

2003-2012: Edward R. Murrow Visiting Professor of Public Diplomacy, the Fletcher School

Published Books:

            Front Line Public Diplomacy: How U.S. Embassies Communicate with Foreign Publics, New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, to be published in August 2014

The Practice of Public Diplomacy: Confronting Challenges Abroad, Palgrave/MacMillan 2011 (Editor)

American Encounters with Arabs: the “Soft Power” of U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Arab World, Praeger/Greenwood, 2005

Engaging the Arab and Islamic Worlds through Public Diplomacy, Public Diplomacy Council, 2004 (Editor)

Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio and Television in Arab Politics, Praeger/Greenwood, 2004

Diplomacy and Defense Policy of the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Center for Strategic Research, 2002  

The Arab Mass Media: Newspapers, Radio and Television in Arab Politics, Syracuse University Press, 1979, revised edition 1987

published articles (a list will be provided on request)

 Selected memberships:

The American University in Cairo: Board of Trustees

 The Middle East Policy Council: Board of Directors and Vice Chair of the Board

The Middle East Institute: Adjunct Scholar

Elected member in:

The Public Diplomacy Council

The Council on Foreign Relations

The American Academy of Diplomacy



PhD from Columbia University (1964)