Alfred Atherton

Last updated
Alfred L. Atherton Jr.
The Shah with Atherton, Sullivan, Vance, Carter and Brzezinski, 1977.jpg
The Iranian Shah meeting with Ambassador Atherton, Sullivan, Vance, Carter and Brzezinski, 1977
United States Ambassador to Egypt
In office
July 2, 1979 November 12, 1983
Preceded by Hermann F. Eilts
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Veliotes
Personal details
Born(1921-11-22)November 22, 1921
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
DiedOctober 30, 2002(2002-10-30) (aged 80)
Washington, D. C.
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University

Alfred Leroy "Roy" Atherton Jr. (November 22, 1921 – October 30, 2002) was a United States Foreign Service Officer and diplomat. He served as United States Ambassador to Egypt in 1979–1983. [1]

Foreign Service Officer member of United States Foreign service

A Foreign Service Officer (FSO) is a commissioned member of the United States Foreign Service. Foreign Service Officers formulate and implement the foreign policy of the United States. FSOs spend most of their careers overseas as members of U.S. embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic missions, though some receive assignments to serve at combatant commands, Congress, and educational institutions such as the various U.S. War Colleges.

Early life

Atherton was born November 22, 1921, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy. He received a B.S. in 1944 and an M.A. in 1947 from Harvard University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1945.

Pittsburgh City in western Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. As of 2017, a population of 305,704 lives within the city limits, making it the 63rd-largest city in the U.S. The metropolitan population of 2,353,045 is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania, and the 26th-largest in the U.S.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Phillips Exeter Academy American private college preparatory school

Phillips Exeter Academy is a coeducational independent school for boarding and day students in grades 9 through 12, and offers a postgraduate program. Located in Exeter, New Hampshire, it is one of the oldest secondary schools in the United States. Exeter is based on the Harkness education system, a conference format of student interaction with minimal teacher involvement. It has the largest endowment of any New England boarding school, which as of June 30, 2017, was valued at $1.25 billion. On January 25, 2019, William K. Rawson was appointed by the Academy's trustees as the 16th Principal Instructor. He is the 4th alumnus of Exeter to serve as Principal Instructor, after Gideon Lane Soule (1838–1873), Harlan Amen, and William Saltonstall (1946–1963).

Diplomatic career

Atherton joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1947, and served in Stuttgart, Bonn, Damascus, and Aleppo. From 1959 to 1961, he was Iraq-Jordan desk officer, then Officer in Charge for Cyprus, in the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs at the State Department.

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron." It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 609,219, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.7 million people live in the city's administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

Bonn Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The Federal City of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About 24 km (15 mi) south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germany's largest metropolitan area, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Damascus City in Syria

Damascus is the capital of the Syrian Arab Republic; it is also the country's largest city, following the decline in population of Aleppo due to the battle for the city. It is colloquially known in Syria as ash-Sham and titled the City of Jasmine. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural center of the Levant and the Arab world. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 as of 2009.

In 1961-62 Atherton took advanced economic studies at the University of California at Berkeley. From 1962 to 1965, he was economic officer in Calcutta, and from 1965 to 1966, he was Deputy Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department.

In 1966 and 1967, Atherton was Country Director for Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. From 1967 to 1970, he was Country Director for Israel and Arab-Israel Affairs.

From 1970 to 1974, Atherton was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. From 1974 to 1978, he was Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. negotiating team at the Camp David summit in September 1978. The summit produced the Camp David Accords. He served as United States Ambassador to Egypt from 1979 to 1983.

Camp David Accords peace treaty

The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978, following twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter. The second of these frameworks led directly to the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty. Due to the agreement, Sadat and Begin received the shared 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. The first framework, which dealt with the Palestinian territories, was written without participation of the Palestinians and was condemned by the United Nations.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

From 1991 to 1992, Atherton served at Hamilton College as Sol M. Linowitz Visiting Professor of Government. There, he taught a small seminar on the history and dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He died at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, in 2002. [2]

Sibley Memorial Hospital is a non-profit hospital located in The Palisades neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and is licensed by the District of Columbia Department of Health and Human Services. The hospital specializes in surgery, orthopedics, and oncology services. It has been part of Johns Hopkins Medicine since 2010.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Career timeline

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Government offices
Preceded by
Joseph J. Sisco
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
April 27, 1974 – April 13, 1978
Succeeded by
Harold H. Saunders
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Hermann F. Eilts
United States Ambassador to Egypt
July 2, 1979 – November 12, 1983
Succeeded by
Nicholas A. Veliotes