According to a biographical note on the Iran Policy Committee website:
- James Akins was U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Nixon administration. An internationally respected expert on Middle East and energy issues, Akins has been an active and outspoken proponent for a just resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a prescient analyst of the Middle East peace process and Arab politics in general. Author Jean-Jacques Servan Schreiber has called Akins "the westerner who knows the most about the Middle East and has the closest relationship of trustwith its leaders."
Interestingly, Akins is less of a hawk than his colleagues on the Iran Policy Committee: for example, he said during 2000, "...how can we get rid of [Saddam Hussein] effectively? Not by aiding Chalabi. Maybe by arming the Kurds against him, that's conceivable. But the Iranians and the Turks would have collective heart attacks if we were to do that. And we will never do that, because of the Turks. Send in a mission to kill him? Well, we're not supposed to do that sort of thing. We have tried it at times, and we've never been very successful at it, nor, for that matter, have the Israelis. The Israelis may have some assets in Iraq, but I doubt if they are any better than ours. So I have any suggestions on how to get rid of him, but to wait. Wait." 
Akins is reported to have been sacked as US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, following his denunciation of a plan put forward for the US occupation of the Middle East in a contemporary article "Seizing Arab Oil" . This article is said to have been written by Henry Kissinger.