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Distinguished Service Award (2017)


[L to R: Ambassador Walter Cutler, ACFR President, Judith Hill and Tulsa Committee Chair Philip Lauinger]

Ambassador Walter L. Cutler

Recipient of the American Committees on Foreign Relations 2017 Distinguished Service Award for the Advancement of Public Discourse on Foreign Policy is Ambassador Walter L. Cutler. Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian International Center introduced Ambassador Cutler who was presented the award by ACFR President Judith Hill and Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman Philip C. Lauinger.

Ambassador Cutler served 34 years in the US Foreign Service. He was twice ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; ambassador to Tunisia at a time when the PLO established its headquarters there; ambassador-designate to the Islamic Republic of Iran before official relations were broken; and ambassador to Congo/Zaire. Other diplomatic postings included Yaounde, Algiers, Tabriz, Seoul and Saigon. In Washington, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations and as Staff Assistant to the Secretary of State. Following his diplomatic career, Cutler has served as president, and now president emeritus, of Meridian International Center, a Washington-based non-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to promoting global understanding through the exchange of people, ideas and the arts. He has also served as a research professor of diplomacy at Georgetown University, and as a special emissary of the United Nations Secretary General for peacekeeping issues.

Ambassador Cutler is currently an international advisor and consultant, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The American Academy of Diplomacy, The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Global Ties US, The Middle East Institute, and The National Council for US-Arab Relations. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Cutler holds an MA from The Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy. He is married to Isabel (Didi) Cutler, a photographer, and they reside in Washington, DC.