Portland State hosted swearing-in ceremonies for the United States’ new Ambassador to Qatar Friday. Joe LeBaron is a graduate of PSU and wanted to return to his alma mater for the inauguration.
He says this is the first time an ambassador has chosen to be sworn in outside of Washington D.C.
Joe LeBaron: “I wanted to take the foreign service beyond the Beltway, far beyond Washington, out to — in this case — to the people of Portland. And, to give them a better sense of the foreign service.”
LeBaron says he’s excited about the chance to continue building a strong relationship between the U.S. and the tiny, oil-rich nation of Qatar.
In addition to his diplomatic duties, LeBaron says he wants to promote trade and create cultural and educational ties. He also says Qatar represents a “moderate direction” and an alternative to extremism in the Middle East.
LeBaron says many foreign students from Qatar and other Gulf states have studied at PSU.