Parker T. Hart

Parker Thompson "Pete" Hart (September 28, 1910 โ€“ October 15, 1997) was a United States diplomat.


Parker T. Hart was born in Medford, Massachusetts on September 28, 1910. He received a BA from Dartmouth College in 1933, an MA from Harvard University in 1935, and a diploma from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in 1936. He attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in 1936.

After completing his studies, Hart joined the United States Foreign Service. His first posting was in Vienna in 1938, the year of the Anschluss. He was posted to Brazil from 1942 to 1949. In 1949, Hart opened the U.S. consulate in Dhahran, the site of Saudi Arabia's newly discovered oilfields. Hart was posted to Washington, D.C. in 1952, as Director of the Office of Near East Affairs. He returned to the field in 1955 as Deputy Chief of Mission in Cairo. He was briefly consul general in Damascus in 1958. Later in 1958, he returned to the U.S. to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs.

In 1961, President of the United States John F. Kennedy named Hart United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Ambassador Hart presented his credentials on July 22, 1961 and served there until his credentials were terminated on May 29, 1965. He was concurrently United States Ambassador to North Yemen from October 1, 1961 to September 27, 1962, and the first United States Ambassador to Kuwait from 1962 to 1963. From 1965 to 1968, Ambassador Hart was United States Ambassador to Turkey; in this capacity he negotiated a settlement that prevented war between two NATO allies, Greece and Turkey, over Cyprus.

President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Hart as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in 1965 and Hart held this office from October 14, 1968 until February 4, 1969. He was the first assistant secretary capable of speaking the Arabic language. He was replaced when Richard Nixon took power and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger moved U.S. foreign policy in the region in a more pro-Israel direction. Hart then spent several months as Director of the Foreign Service Institute, before resigning from the United States Department of State later in 1969.

Hart served as President of the Middle East Institute from 1969 to 1973. He then worked as a special representative and consultant for Bechtel from 1973 to 1990. He retired in 1990 and would go on to publish two books of memoirs

In retirement, Hart lived in Washington, D.C., where he died on October 15, 1997. He was 87 years old

Selected publications

  • Two NATO Allies at the Threshold of War: Cyprus, A Firsthand Account of Crisis Management, 1965โ€“1968. Durham: Duke University Press. 1990. ISBN 0-8223-0977-7.
  • Saudi Arabia and the United States: Birth of a Security Partnership. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1998. ISBN 0-253-33460-8.

External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Donald R. Heath
United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
July 22, 1961 โ€“ May 29, 1965
Succeeded by
Hermann Eilts
Preceded by
G. Frederick Reinhardt
United States Ambassador to North Yemen
October 1, 1961 โ€“ September 27, 1961
Succeeded by
Position Unfilled Until 1971
Preceded by
Dayton S. Mak
(Chargรฉ d'Affaires)
United States Ambassador to Kuwait
Succeeded by
Howard R. Cottam
Preceded by
Raymond A. Hare
United States Ambassador to Turkey
Succeeded by
Robert Komer
Government offices
Preceded by
Lucius D. Battle
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
October 14, 1968 โ€“ February 4, 1969
Succeeded by
Joseph J. Sisco