James R. Cheek

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James Richard Cheek, of Arkansas, was in 1989 "a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Sudan. He would succeed G. Norman Anderson.

"Mr. Cheek joined the Foreign Service in 1962. He has served in numerous assignments with the Department of State, including chief of the political section in Managua, 1971 - 1974; congressional fellow for the United States Senate and House of Representatives, 1974 - 1975; Deputy Director for Regional Affairs in the Bureau of Near East and South Asian Affairs, 1975 - 1977; and deputy chief of mission in Montevideo, 1977 - 1979. He has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, 1979 - 1981. Mr. Cheek was a foreign affairs fellow at Howard University and Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 1981 - 1982; deputy chief of mission in Kathmandu, 1982 - 1985; and chief of mission and Charge d'Affaires in Addis Ababa, 1985 - 1988. Since 1988 he has been diplomat-in-residence at Howard University.

"Mr. Cheek graduated from Arkansas State Teachers College (B.A., 1959) and American University with a master of international service degree in 1961. He was born April 27, 1936, in Decatur, GA. He served in the U.S. Army, 1954 - 1956, and on active reserve, 1956 - 1967. Mr. Cheek is married, has three children, and resides in Virginia." [1]


"A senior career diplomat who served in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe, James Richard Cheek was United States Ambassador to Argentina from June 1993 until December 1996. Prior to that, he was a member of President-elect Clinton's transition team at the State Department, following an assignment as Ambassador to Sudan from 1989-92. He was Acting Ambassador and Chief of Mission to Ethiopia during the great famine from 1985-88, and was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for American Republics Affairs from 1979-81, during which time he was also Acting Ambassador to El Salvador. Ambassador Cheek was also Deputy Director

"Joining the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer in 1961, Ambassador Cheek's assignments overseas included tours at our embassies in Santiago, Chile; London, England; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Managua, Nicaragua. He was Deputy Ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay (1977-79) and Deputy Ambassador, Katmandu, Nepal (1982-85).

"Ambassador Cheek's diverse diplomatic career included two periods as a visiting professor, at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (1981-82) and at Howard University in Washington, D.C. (1988-89). While at the Fletcher School, he was also an Associate at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs. Detailed to the U.S. Congress as a Congressional Fellow from 1974-75, he served as a legislative aide to Representative Dave Obey and Senator Gary Hart. Ambassador Cheek also served with the Peace Corps, as Director of Programs and Training in Brazil from 1967-69.

"A lifelong resident of Little Rock, Arkansas, the Ambassador was born in Decatur, Georgia, on April 27, 1936. He received a B.A. degree from the Arkansas State Teachers College, Conway, and a Master of International Service (MIS) from the American University, Washington, D.C. He served overseas with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1954-56, and subsequently became a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.

"Following his retirement from our career diplomatic service in January, 1997, Ambassador Cheek resumed his residence in Little Rock, Arkansas. He joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as an Ambassador in Residence and Lecturer in Diplomacy and International Business. He also became a board member of and consultant to several, large American and foreign corporations.

"During his long career with the State Department, Ambassador Cheek was actively involved in advancing U.S. commercial aviation interests abroad, including the negotiation of bilateral civil aviation agreements, for which State is the lead U.S. Government agency. Following his retirement in February 1997, he joined American Airlines as a consultant and personal advisor to the President and senior management of the company, a position he held for five years. He not only advised American on its strategic alliances and acquisitions throughout Latin America but also participated in the negotiation and implementation of these agreements. He was the designated liaison between American Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas during the period when American was responsible for the management of Aerolineas (October 1998-January 2000).

"During 1997-98 Ambassador Cheek served as a consultant to the senior management of the Ogden Corporation of New York, supporting their successful bid, with Argentine and Italian partners, to win the long-term concession of almost all Argentine airports (32). The Ambassador joined this company, Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, several years later, as an advisor to its Board of Directors. He later became a Member of the Board of Directors of Argentina Linea Privada (LAPA) a major domestic airline in Argentina. In July 2002 Ambassador Cheek became President of American International Airports, LLC a New York based holding company for national airport operating companies.

"With his extensive experience, both government and private, in the air transport and airport sectors, Ambassador Cheek has advised many companies engaged in these, or related, activities. He has also made presentations and speeches at a number of international conferences and meetings dealing with air transport and airports." [2]

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