Walter L. Cutler
Walter Cutler is President 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. With a staff of 100 supported by some 1200 volunteers, Meridian serves as a “Doorway to the United States” by annually providing a wide variety of services and programs for thousands of official and private sector visitors to the United States, ranging from parliamentary delegations and diplomats to business leaders and university students. Meridian also provides Americans with a ‘Window on the World” through seminars and conferences on international issues, as well as art exhibitions and other cultural programs.
Before assuming his position at Meridian, Ambassador Cutler was a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service. He was twice ambassador to Saudi Arabia, ambassador to Tunisia and Zaire, and was ambassador-designate to Khomeini’s Iran before diplomatic relations were broken. Other postings included Cameroon, Algeria, Korea and Vietnam. He was also Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations, and Staff Assistant to the Secretary of State.
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Ambassador Cutler holds an M.A. from The Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and The Middle East Institute; and a Director of the American Academy of Diplomacy and the American Committees on Foreign Relations. He also serves as Senior Advisor to the Trust Company of the West. In 1993 he was awarded the Director General’s Cup by the U.S. Department of State for “the successful extension of a distinguished diplomatic career to significant contributions to American foreign policy on a broad public scale.” Ambassador Cutler speaks widely on Middle East and other international issues, and is a frequent commentator on National Public Radio, CNN, and other major networks. In July 1996 he testified before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence following the terrorist bombings in Saudi Arabia. In 1994 he was a Special Emissary of the United Nations Secretary General, conferring with governmental leaders around the world on peacekeeping issues. He has also served as Research Professor of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.
Ambassador Cutler and his wife Isabel, a free-lance photographer, reside in Washington, D.C.