Lieutenant General John Abizaid, named in July to succeed Tommy Franks as head of U.S. Central Command, is a former senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Abizaid, then a lieutenant colonel, was at Stanford in 1992-93 as a National Security Affairs Fellow. A fluent Arabic speaker and the grandson of Lebanese immigrants, Abizaid holds a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Harvard. He served in northern Iraq following the Gulf War and commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Kosovo.

The year he spent at Hoover may be useful in his role overseeing operations in Iraq. His study topic was military training for peacekeeping activities.