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Dennis Ross speaker american foreign policy

Dennis Ross

Washington D.C., USA

Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for the Central Region (2009-11)

US Middle East Envoy under President Clinton

Director, United States State Department’s Policy Planning Staff under George H. W. Bush

Ambassador Dennis Ross has served several US administrations as a senior diplomat and advisor on the Middle East and broader international security. In Obamas first term, he had the principal responsibility for Iran policy. He is one of America’s foremost foreign policy experts on the region and currently serves as Counselor at The Washington Institute, a think tank dedicated to improving the quality of US Middle East policy, and a Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. AIn Obama’s first term he had the principal responsibility for Iran policy.

In February 2009, Ambassador Dennis Ross was appointed Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Later that year he left the State Department to join the National Security Council staff as a Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for the Central Region (the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Asia). He stepped down from this role in December 2011.

Ambassador Dennis Ross served as Middle East Envoy under President Clinton, helping the Israelis and Palestinians reach the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He also brokered the Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron in 1997 and facilitated the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace.

During George H. W. Bush’s administration, Ambassador Dennis Ross was Director of the United States State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, where he worked on US policy toward the former Soviet Union, the reunification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control, and forming the coalitions during the 1991 Gulf War. He also collaborated with Secretary of State James Baker on convincing Arab and Israeli leaders to attend the 1991 Middle East peace conference in Madrid, Spain.

Speaking Topics:

  • US foreign policy
  • Interpreting the Trump Administration foreign policies
  • Russia
  • The US-Israel relationship
  • The politics of the Middle East

Our Comment

"Ambassador Ross has also had an extensive academic career, teaching courses at both Georgetown and Harvard University. He offers broad geopolitical analysis of the wider Middle East region, as well as insights into the political dynamics behind the scenes. He is a commanding presence on stage and a gripping speaker."


Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama

Dennis Ross has been a direct participant in shaping U.S. policy toward the Middle East, and Israel specifically, for nearly thirty years. He served in senior roles, including as Bill Clinton’s envoy for Arab-Israeli peace, and was an active player in the debates over how Israel fit into the region and what should guide our policies. In Doomed to Succeed, he takes us through every administration from Truman to Obama, throwing into dramatic relief each president’s attitudes toward Israel and the region, the often tumultuous debates between key advisers, and the events that drove the policies and at times led to a shift in approach.

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