News Release

Thomas Pickering, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and Ambassador to the United Nations, Joins Brookings

September 13, 2011

Thomas Pickering, former U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs and ambassador to the United Nations, the Russian Federation, India, Israel and Jordan, has joined The Brookings Institution as a distinguished senior fellow, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Pickering, who has been a leading figure in U.S. diplomacy for more than four decades, joins the Foreign Policy program where he will participate in a wide range of events and research projects.

“We are honored that Ambassador Pickering has agreed to join Brookings and look forward to calling on his vast foreign policy expertise,” said Talbott. “I am sure that Tom’s many years of outstanding public service as a leading U.S. diplomat will further the Institution’s global agenda.”

Early in his Foreign Service career, Pickering served as special assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger, as well as an adviser to the U.S. delegation participating in international disarmament talks. In the 1970s and 1980s, Pickering went on to serve as U.S. ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador and Israel. From 1989 to 1992, Pickering served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“Ambassador Pickering will be a tremendous asset to the Brookings Foreign Policy program,” said Martin Indyk, vice president and director for Foreign Policy. “We look forward to working with him and drawing on his extraordinary diplomatic experience and deep knowledge of the world’s current and most critical foreign policy challenges.”

In the early and mid-1990s, Pickering served as U.S. ambassador to India and then as ambassador to the Russian Federation. In 1996, Pickering retired from the State Department, after 40 years with the U.S. Foreign Service. In 1997, Pickering returned to the State Department, having been named under secretary of state for political affairs, the number three position within the State Department. He served most recently vice chair of Hills and Company, an international consulting firm.

Pickering is a graduate of Bowdoin College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he received a master’s degree. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Melbourne in Australia and received a second master’s degree.

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