The Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs plays a critical role in the educational mission of SDSU.
Founded in 1942, as the Institute on World Affairs, to inform students, faculty, and the wider public on global affairs, the Institute has provided the SDSU and greater San Diego community with high level and spirited intellectual engagement on international issues.
Institute speakers are drawn from all areas of global affairs, including international diplomacy, academia, national security, and protest politics. The Institute prides itself on encouraging robust critical debate, including the airing of highly controversial themes. Its operating motto is AUDIATUR ET ALTERA PARS (Let the Other Side be Heard). Recent topics have included drone warfare and targeted killings, international war crime courts, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. foreign policy, and issues related to Brexit.
The Institute proudly bears the name of Charles W. Hostler, former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain. Ambassador Hostler served his country with distinction and provided generous support in time and contributions to the Institute and many other worthy causes.
Charles Hostler’s life involved being a soldier, scholar, businessman, diplomat, humanitarian and philanthropist. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in January 1942 (one month after the Pearl Harbor attack) and entered the Army Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. His fluency in French and military intelligence training led to his assignment with the Office of Strategic Services (predecessor of the CIA) X-2 section for Allied counter-espionage/deception operations during the invasion of France in WWII.
His special Counter-espionage unit landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944 at Utah Beach in Normandy, France. During and after WWII, Ambassador Hostler continued carrying out many clandestine missions for the OSS and CIA. On June 6, 2004, during the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, French President Jacques Chirac personally presented him with the French Legion of Honor in the presence of 17 Heads of State in Normandy. Ambassador Hostler received decorations from nine countries and from four religious leaders for his valiant actions.
Following his retirement as a Colonel in the Air Force, Ambassador Hostler continued to hold many distinguished positions. He was appointed by three California Governors as a Commissioner for various public service positions. Ambassador Hostler was also appointed by Presidents Nixon and Ford as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Commerce. And lastly in 1989, Ambassador Hostler was appointed by President Bush, Sr. as the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain (1989-1993) during the Persian Gulf War.
Ambassador Hostler earned a master’s and doctorate degree in Political Science from Georgetown University, and a MA in Middle Eastern Studies from American University of Beirut. He also received three honorary doctorate degrees and was the author of three books. His memoir, “Soldier to Ambassador”, was published by San Diego State University Press in 2003.
Ambassador Hostler grew up during the Great Depression, began working at the age of 13 and never stopped. In 2007, his long-time dream came true when he inaugurated a 5-building Hostler Student Center at the American University of Beirut. He also endowed the Charles Hostler Institute on World Affairs at San Diego State University (SDSU) in 2004, in addition to providing a Fellowship program and supporting their Veterans Center. The Charles Hostler Hall at SDSU was dedicated on February 21, 2014. Charles and Chinyeh Hostler endowed the Global Youth Forum Scholarship Fund for the People to People International organization which was founded by President Eisenhower in 1956 to enhance peace through understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities.
Ambassador Hostler had been the Honorary Consul General of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the United States since 1993. He was buried with full military honor next to his father (a WWI Army Officer) at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. He is survived by his wife, Chinyeh and two step-sons.
The Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs has played an important role in sponsoring educational programs and speakers’ forums for more than seven decades. The late Ambassador Charles Hostler was a soldier, scholar, businessman, diplomat, humanitarian and philanthropist who used his international connections to build the institute’s network of global leaders, allowing a wide audience to understand the impact of world affairs.
To honor his legacy the the Hostler Institute hosts two lectures per year in collaboration with the President’s Lecture Series.
The Charles Hostler Institute Scholarship is an academic merit-based scholarship that will provide support for students to study abroad who are enrolled in the Fowler College of Business, or who are pursuing a major in International Business.
Application & Eligibility Criteria:
- Recipient(s) must be enrolled in a semester-length study abroad program.
- Recipient(s) must be students in the Fowler College of Business or students pursuing a major in International Business.
- Recipient(s) must have a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.00 out of 4.00, or the arithmetic equivalent.
- Recipient(s) must be enrolled full-time.
- All class levels are eligible.
- To be considered for renewal, recipient(s) must reapply and meet all eligibility criteria.
- Recipient(s) must have financial need, as determined by the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Application dates to be announced.
MGT 403: Global Business and Diplomacy
President/Hostler Institute Lecture Series
Charles W. Hostler Institute on World Affairs 80th Anniversary Celebration
Ambassador Ryan Crocker- Former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan
Dr. Fadlo Khuri- President, American University of Beirut
Charles Pinck- President, The OSS Society
September 29, 2022
Congresswoman Susan A. Davis
California's 53rd Congressional District
February 22, 2022
Hostler Lecture Series: Her Excellency, Adela Raz,
Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the U.S.
November 18, 2021
Assistant Secretary Ellen E. McCarthy
U.S. Department of State,
Bureau of Intelligence and Research
February 24, 2020
Consul General Zhang Ping,
People's Republic of China in Los Angeles
March 17, 2021