PULLMAN, Wash. – Asif J. Chaudhry – a career minister in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service and Washington State University’s new vice president for international programs – was honored Aug. 19 with the WSU Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his contributions to the betterment of our global society and his commitment to WSU.
His foreign service career has coincided with the demise of communism in Eastern Europe. He helped form a ministry of agriculture and extension centers in Poland; aided Russian negotiation for assistance in response to economic collapse; and assisted the Moldovan government as it enacted justice reforms and built infrastructure and best business practices.
There isn’t a country where Chaudhry has served that he has not promoted WSU to its citizens and his colleagues, according to WSU Interim President Dan Bernardo. Chaudhry is directly responsible, for example, for bringing Fulbright visiting scholar Boris Delimarschi from Moldova to the Pullman campus last year.
Chaudhry credits his WSU education for helping him grow from a youth in rural Pakistan to an international diplomat: “The quality of education I received laid a great foundation for me to have the confidence to go and do what I’ve been doing,” he said in a 2013 interview with Washington State Magazine.
As a result, he encourages and offers mentoring to WSU students who show interest in working in professions that represent the United States and WSU, Bernardo said.
Chaudhry most recently was foreign policy advisor to the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations. Before that, he was U.S. ambassador to Moldova. He served in the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. embassies in Egypt, Russia and Poland.
He received the U.S. Presidential Award for Meritorious Service for foreign policy in 2006 and has received three certificates of merit and three administrator’s special awards from the USDA.
He earned his Ph.D. from WSU in agricultural economics in 1988. He received a master’s degree from the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Punjab in Pakistan.
The WSUAA Alumni Achievement Award was created in 1970 by the WSUAA Board of Directors to recognize alumni who have given outstanding service to WSU and made contributions to their professions and communities. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. Of an estimated 250,000 students who have attended WSU, Chaudhry is the 517th Alumni Achievement Award recipient.