• Jordan’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs is also a Baylor Bear

    Ayman Safadi

    The small Middle Eastern nation of Jordan is bordered by Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which makes foreign relations incredibly important for the country. Earlier this year, when King Abdullah named a new Minister of Foreign Affairs, he turned to a trusted advisor — who just so happens to be a Baylor graduate.

    Ayman Safadi, MA ’92, was appointed as Jordan’s minister of foreign affairs in January, the latest step in a career that has taken him from Baylor’s Castellaw Communications Building to key roles in the Jordanian government. Safadi spent several years as a King’s Advisor, serving as second-in-command among advisors to King Abdullah, and also spent time as the country’s deputy prime minister.

    Safadi’s journey to the highest levels of international talks sprang from a career in journalism. After earning his master’s degree in international journalism at Baylor, he returned to Jordan and climbed the ranks at the Jordan Times to the role of editor-in-chief. He went on to lead Jordan’s Royal Press Service and the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation, and served as editor-in-chief of al-Ghad, an independent Jordanian paper. There, his efforts fighting for the freedom of kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll, who was imprisoned three months in Iraq, helped lead to her release in 2006. Before returning to government, he led Path Arabia, a political communication and strategy group, as the organization’s CEO.

    Despite living thousands of miles away from Waco, Safadi has stayed close to Baylor in the 25 years since receiving his master’s. His most recent visit to campus came last year, when he delivered the keynote address at the Hankamer School of Business Global Business Forum. There, he told students what he believed to be a key tool to fighting extremist ideologies: “A more positive narrative. A narrative that celebrates life. A narrative that celebrates what is common among us humans. A narrative that tells the story of millions and millions of young men and women in the region who are trying to make a better life. It’s the pursuit of happiness. It’s the pursuit of opportunity.”

    Sic ’em, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi!

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