Ryan Crocker, a Spokane native and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, was named dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University on Friday.

A Spokane native and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq was named dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University on Friday.

Ryan Crocker, who lives in Spokane Valley, will head up the school named after former President George H.W. Bush and located in College Station, Texas, about 100 miles northwest of Houston.

While the new position means a move to Texas, Crocker says he isn’t abandoning the Inland Northwest for good.

Crocker, 60, and his wife, Christine, are in the process of building their dream home here, and they don’t intend to change their plans, he said.

Instead he’ll shuttle back and forth between Spokane and the university.

“We expect to be doing a lot of commuter miles,” Crocker said Friday night.

Crocker served nearly four decades as a diplomat, retiring from the U.S. Foreign Service after his tenure as ambassador to Iraq from 2007 until last spring.

The University High School graduate then moved back to the Spokane area.

In a previous interview with The Spokesman-Review, Crocker said his post in Baghdad was the most difficult of his career and ultimately one of the most rewarding.

He said Friday he is looking forward to working with former President Bush, who also has a presidential library named after him on the A&M campus.

The appointment, announced by the university’s Board of Regents, will become effective Jan. 25.