Molly Williamson speaks extensively on energy, economic and demographic factors affecting foreign policy formulation, US-Middle East relations, especially regional unrest, the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iran and nuclear challenges, and the interagency process.
Williamson is a retired Foreign Service Officer, having served six presidents, achieving the rank of Career Minister. She is a scholar with the Middle East Institute and the National Council on US-Arab Relations, a consultant, and frequent guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, the Defense Institute of Security Cooperation, and the National Joint Staff College. She is also a member of Georgetown University’s MSFS oral boards, and a director on both corporate and non-profit boards. Williamson has lectured at numerous World Affairs and Business groups across the country, numerous universities, several cruise ships, as well as briefings to the U.S. Congress.
Williamson has had a unique combination of policy positions in four Cabinet departments in the U.S. government as well as numerous diplomatic assignments in and about the Middle East.
Williamson was the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy with global responsibilities at the nexus of foreign policy and energy policy.
When Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Williamson was responsible for the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania and Africa, advancing trade relations with 86 countries with a trade portfolio valued at over $120 billion/year.
Williamson was Principal Deputy, then Acting Assistant Secretary of State, International Organizations Bureau, responsible for the policy and programs affecting UN political and Security Council matters, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Williamson was responsible for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. She was engaged in operational defense structure bottom-up reviews, the policy challenges of Iraqi provocations, crises in Rwanda and Somalia, and nuclear tests in South Asia.
She has had numerous diplomatic postings in the Middle East, including heading up our diplomatic mission in Jerusalem during the Madrid Peace Process, which culminated in the Oslo Accords.
She has been trained in both Hebrew and Arabic.
Williamson, a native of California, has been awarded 2 Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award, Secretary of Commerce Performance Award, the Secretary of Defense’ Service Award, and 14 awards from the Department of State.
B.A. at University of Maryland; M.A. at University of Maryland
Regions of Expertise
Levant, Arabian Gulf States
Issues of Expertise
Energy, Economy, Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, Regional Unrest