The Middle East Institute's George and Rhonda Salem family foundation lecture series is pleased to welcome Amb. Nicholas Veliotes, former assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Arthur Hughes, member of the board of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and Amb. Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, who will discuss the findings of their recent fact-finding mission to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, and Tel Aviv. Based on their meetings with Palestinian and Israeli officials, activists, and academics, the panelists will assess the progress of the peace talks and provide their observations about the mood and situation on the ground in the territories and Israel.
Amb. Nick Veliotes was ambassador to Egypt and Jordan and Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East and South Asia. After service in the U.S. Army, he became a Foreign Service officer and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. After retirement from the Foreign Service, he served as president of the Association of American Publishers until 1997. Ambassador Veliotes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Middle East Institute, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Association of Berkeley Fellows. He also serves on the boards of the American Academy of Diplomacy, AMIDEAST, ANERA, and the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
Amb. Arthur Hughes is a member of the board of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and served as director-general of the Egypt-Israel Multinational Force and Observers from 1998 - 2004. Prior to that he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, after which he became the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asia and has held numerous other posts with the U.S. Foreign Service, including as Deputy Chief of Mission in Tel Aviv.
Amb. Philip C. Wilcox, Jr. is president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in September 1997 after 31 years of service, during which he served in Laos, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and as consul general in Jerusalem. He also served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, and principal deputy assistant secretary of state for Intelligence and Research.
Kate Seelye is senior vice president of the Middle East Institute, where she oversees MEI's programs and communications. Prior to joining MEI, Seelye worked as a radio and television journalist covering the Arab world from 2000-2009 from her base in Beirut, Lebanon. She reported on the region for NPR, BBC's The World, PBS' Frontline/World and the renowned Channel Four British investigative news series, Unreported World. Prior to that she worked as a producer for the Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.