Thirty Years Ago This Week in the Colorado Statesman … A former state legislator was bestowed the honor of an ambassadorship. Former state Sen. Sam H. Zakhem was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, he succeeded Donald Leidel. A well-known name in Colorado politics, Zakhem is Lebanese by birth, was educated in the United States and served Southwest Denver in both the Colorado House and Senate. From 1967 to 1972, Zakhem was an instructor at the University of Colorado extension and was also a foreign student adviser at the University of Denver from 1972 to 1973.
Zakhem served as a state representative from 1975-1979, and as a state senator from 1979-1983. While serving in the Colorado Legislature, Zakhem sponsored pioneering efforts dealing with solar energy, aid to the elderly and tougher penalties for drunk drivers and employers who hire illegal aliens. He then, thanks to Reagan's appointment, went on to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain from 1986 to 1989.