George Herbert Walker III U.S. Ambassador to Hungary 2003-2006
George Herbert Walker III was sworn in as Ambassador to Hungary on September 30, 2003.
Ambassador Walker is Chairman Emeritus of Stifel Financial Corp. and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated. From 1978 until 1992, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Stifel Financial and Stifel, Nicolaus. He served as Chairman from 1982-2001. From the time he joined Stifel in 1976 as Executive Vice President to the present, Stifel has evolved from a small privately-owned firm with a revenue of approximately $12 million to a public firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange with revenues of more than $200 million, more than 1,000 employees, and a net worth of more than $100 million.
During the course of his business career, Ambassador Walker served, as well, on the Board of Midwest Stock Exchange (now Chicago Stock Exchange), the Regional Firms Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange, and the Executive Committee of the Securities Industry Association.
Ambassador Walker's interests have extended to education, politics, and civic affairs. Since 1974, he has served as a director of Webster University and as Chairman of the Board from 1987-1992. He served as Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Webster University Business School and as Chairman of the Daniel Webster Society (an annual fund-raising organization). In politics, Ambassador Walker has been active on both local and national levels. He was active in the national campaigns of both Presidents Reagan and Bush. In 1993, St. Louis Mayor Bosley requested that Ambassador Walker form a blue-ribbon advisory committee on budget and finance to guide him at the start of his administration. More recently, this committee was reformed as Citizens for Home Rule, a group seeking to reform the structure of the city government. As the founder of this effort and Chairman of its Steering Committee (which includes all four former mayors of St. Louis and the current mayor), the focus is now to change the structure of the city government.
In civic affairs, Ambassador Walker has served as Chairman of Downtown St. Louis, Inc. (now Downtown St. Louis Partnership), and as the first Chairman of the Downtown St. Louis Business District. He headed the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way in 1995. He was a board member (former chairman) of the Missouri Historical Society, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and Webster University . He was a commissioner and treasurer of the St. Louis Science Center and also a member of Washington University 's National Council for the Olin School of Business. He was a member of the Siteman Cancer Center Advisory Board.
Ambassador Walker is a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Ladue and served on the Vestry. He also served on the Vestry of St. Ann's Church in Kennebunkport , Maine , and, for many years, was a director of the Episcopal Church Foundation.
In business, in addition to his role at Stifel, Nicolaus, Ambassador Walker was a director of Laidlaw Corporation, Western-Southern Life Insurance Company, and Macroeconomic Advisors, Inc.
Ambassador Walker is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., 1953) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1956). Ambassador Walker has received honorary degrees from Webster University and Harris-Stowe State College. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1956-1958 and as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army from 1974-1977.
Ambassador Walker is married to the former Carol Banta and they have eight children and nine grandchildren.
Ambassador Walker concluded his service as Ambassador to Hungary on August 4, 2006.