The Middle East Institute is pleased to welcome Amb. Thomas Pickering, Col. Philip Dermer, and Geoffrey Aronson for a discussion of their new report entitled "U.S. Policy in a Time of Transition: Ending Occupation, Enhancing Israel's Security, Realizing Palestinian Sovereignty." This report is the product of an independent study group chaired by Ambassador Pickering. Principal authors Geoffrey Aronson and Col. (ret.) Philip Dermer argue that establishing a Palestinian state at peace with Israel will enhance the security of all parties including the United States, which has vital national interests at stake in such an outcome. After decades in which efforts to achieve this objective have come up short, current circumstances require an unprecedented U.S. commitment to lead the involved parties as well as the international community to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Amb. Thomas Pickering is vice chair of Hills & Company. Ambassador Pickering served as under secretary of state for Political Affairs from 1997-2000, and was U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, El Salvador, Nigeria, Jordan, and Israel. He was also ambassador and representative to the United Nations from 1988-1991.
Geoffrey Aronson is director of research and publications at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He has consulted for numerous international organizations on a variety of political and security issues in the Middle East.
Philip Dermer is a retired U.S. Army colonel with thirty years of service, most recently as one of the Army's foremost Middle East regional experts. He served in senior military and civilian venues throughout the Middle East and Washington, DC.
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.