On December 9, 2003 William Cabaniss was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic by then Secretary of State Colin Powell. It was during his three-year term as Ambassador that Cabaniss met TFAS President Roger Ream and became a dedicated supporter of The Fund’s free-market mission.
As Ambassador to The Czech Republic in 2004, 2005 and 2006, Cabaniss hosted students participating in the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) program at receptions at the Ambassador’s Residence. He was impressed with the education the students were receiving and appreciated the core democratic principles TFAS diligently taught.
“I met many of these students and was very impressed by the programs they were experiencing and the understanding they were gaining about democracy and free markets. Some of these students will be political and civic leaders in their own countries in the future and they will remember “lessons learned” from their experience in AIPES.”
As someone who knows first hand the importance of strengthening diplomatic relations abroad, Cabaniss appreciates how the TFAS programs build bridges between student’s home countries and the United States. He believes the TFAS programs are “a great investment for the future of democracy and free markets throughout these many countries.”
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Cabaniss received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University. Following college, he joined the United States Army, where he served as an Airborne Ranger First Lieutenant and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. After his service in the armed forces, Cabaniss returned to Alabama and entered the business sector; first with the Southern Cement Company Division of Martin Marietta Corporation, then with the acquisition of a small metal grinding company. Since then, he built Precision Grinding, Inc. into a successful business, which he sold to his partners in 2006.
Cabaniss continues to be a leader in the business community, as well as heavily active in community affairs. He has previously served on the board of directors of numerous publicly-held companies as well as several community organizations. In 2004, he was inducted to the Alabama Academy of Honor, and in 2006 to the Alabama Business Hall of Fame.
Cabaniss is married to the former Catherine Hood Caldwell. They have two daughters, five grandchildren, and reside in Birmingham, Alabama.