Interview with Brigadier General David E. Greer, who is the current Executive Director of the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.
Alice: How did you and your wife Susan meet?
General Greer: We meet at a work conference, and got married in Baghdad in a security compound in 2009, while we were working for the US State Department there.
Alice: What are some of your hobbies?
General Greer: I enjoy gardening, golf, and reading —mostly history. Right now I am currently reading about the American Revolution.
Alice: What is one of the proudest moments of your life?
General Greer: One of the proudest moments of my life was when my daughter was born.
Alice: What can you tell me about your military service?
General Greer: I was commissioned from the ROTC at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. After active duty with the 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood, Texas, I transitioned to the United States Army Reserve, then to the Tennessee Army National Guard. I served in various command and staff positions within the 30th Separate Armored Brigade, the 196th Field Artillery Brigade, and State Headquarters. I served as the Deputy Commanding General at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School in Fort Sill, OK, and culminated my career as the Land Component Commander of the TN Army National Guard. I served as past President of the National Guard Association of Tennessee. I most enjoyed leading and training soldiers. I retired in 2008 and went to work in Baghdad for the US State Department with the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team.
Alice: How did you come to be involved with American FRRME?
General Greer: While in Baghdad, I became friends with Canon Andrew White, vicar of St George’s Anglican Church, Baghdad. He was involved with FRRME in the United Kingdom and I became interested in the foundation’s work. In 2011, Susan and I moved back to Maine and retired with not much to do. I contacted a member of the Board of Trustees of American FRRME to find out how I could help. At that time the Foundation’s Executive Director was working out of the country and was unable to be as involved as they would have liked. After some discussion, I was asked to become Executive Director and took this position on January 1st, 2012.
Alice: What is or has been the most rewarding part of your work with American FRRME?
General Greer: One of the most rewarding parts of my work was the opening of the Olive Tree Center in Madaba, Jordan, in 2019. This center provides trauma counseling, English lessons, and help with immigration paperwork in a neutral setting, so everyone feels welcome.
Alice: What do you hope to achieve before you pass the torch to another Executive Director?
General Greer: I would like to see American FRRME in a stronger financial standing and establish more long-term commitments from donors before I pass the torch to someone else. And I would also like to expand the number of Olive Tree Centers to provide more of these services to more people.
Alice: What does American FRRME hope to achieve over the next five years?
General Greer: The current five-year plan of American FRRME is to continue expanding the Olive Tree Center concept to other cities in Jordan, increasing the outreach of the Nineveh SEED (Sustainable Enterprise Economic Development), and keep working with St. George’s Church in Baghdad. And also to hopefully expand our efforts to help more people outside of Jordan.