Washington, D.C. – Martin Indyk, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, has been named the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, Secretary of State John Kerry announced today. Indyk will assume his new post effective immediately, taking a leave of absence from Brookings. Ted Piccone, currently deputy director of the Foreign Policy Program, will serve as acting vice president and director in the interim.
“All of us at Brookings–scholars, Trustees, and staff–are proud that Secretary Kerry has asked our colleague Martin to serve as special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks,” said Brookings President Strobe Talbott. “Among the ways Brookings has an impact on policy is through the public service of our people. Martin is a seasoned diplomat with deep knowledge of the issues he will be dealing with in the challenging and important task he’s undertaking for Secretary Kerry. During his twelve years at Brookings, Martin has made a signal contribution to the growth and consolidation of the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings. He is not just an outstanding scholar but an institution-builder. He established the Saban Center for Middle East Policy and the Brookings Doha Center; was instrumental in setting up Brookings India; and he has overseen the creation of the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. We wish him well during his leave of absence and look forward to his return.”
Indyk has served as vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at Brookings since 2009. He was the founding director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings from 2002 to 2009. Prior to joining Brookings, Indyk served as U.S. ambassador to Israel from 1995 to1997 and from 2000 to 2001. Indyk also served as special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council (1993-1995) and as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs in the U.S. Department of State (1997-2000).
Indyk is the author of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East (Simon and Schuster, 2009). Most recently, Indyk co-authored Bending History: Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy with Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Lieberthal (Brookings Institution Press, 2012).