Thomas R. Pickering

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Tom Pickering
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Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
In office
May 27, 1997 December 31, 2000
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Peter Tarnoff
Succeeded by Marc Grossman
United States Ambassador to Russia
In office
May 21, 1993 November 1, 1996
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Robert S. Strauss
Succeeded by James F. Collins
United States Ambassador to India
In office
August 14, 1992 March 23, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Preceded by William Clark
Succeeded by Frank G. Wisner
18th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
March 20, 1989 May 7, 1992
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Vernon A. Walters
Succeeded by Edward J. Perkins
United States Ambassador to Israel
In office
August 6, 1985 December 28, 1988
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Samuel W. Lewis
Succeeded by William Andreas Brown
United States Ambassador to El Salvador
In office
September 5, 1983 June 7, 1985
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Deane R. Hinton
Succeeded by Edwin G. Corr
United States Ambassador to Nigeria
In office
November 30, 1981 July 9, 1983
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Stephen Low
Succeeded by Thomas W. M. Smith
Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
In office
October 10, 1978 February 24, 1981
President Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Patsy Mink
Succeeded by James Malone
United States Ambassador to Jordan
In office
March 2, 1974 July 13, 1978
President Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Preceded by L. Dean Brown
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Veliotes
Executive Secretary of the Department of State
In office
July 30, 1973 January 31, 1974
President Richard Nixon
Preceded by Theodore L. Eliot Jr.
Succeeded by George Springsteen
Personal details
Born
Thomas Reeve Pickering

(1931-11-05) November 5, 1931 (age 87)
Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Spouse(s)Alice Stover (1955–2011)
Children2
Education Bowdoin College (BA)
Tufts University (MA)
University of Melbourne (MA)

Thomas Reeve "Tom" Pickering (born November 5, 1931) is a retired United States ambassador. Among his many diplomatic appointments, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations is the leader of the U.S. delegation, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The position is more formally known as the "Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, and Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the United Nations"; it is also known as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. There is also a Deputy Ambassador who assumes the duties of the ambassador in his or her absence. Like all United States ambassadors, the ambassador to the UN and the deputy ambassador are nominated by the U.S. President and confirmed by the Senate. The Ambassador serves at the pleasure of the President.

Contents

Early life and education

Born in Orange, New Jersey, Pickering is the son of Hamilton Reeve Pickering and Sarah Chasteney Pickering. He graduated from Rutherford High School in Rutherford, New Jersey. [1]

Orange, New Jersey City in Essex County, New Jersey, U.S.

The City of Orange is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 30,134, reflecting a decline of 2,734 (-8.3%) from the 32,868 counted in 2000, which had in turn increased by 2,943 (+9.8%) from the 29,925 counted in the 1990 Census.

Rutherford High School (New Jersey)

Rutherford High School is a comprehensive four-year public high school located in Rutherford, in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States, operating as part of the Rutherford School District. The original structure was built in 1922 and expanded in 1938, 1957 and 2005. Rutherford High School is overseen by the New Jersey Department of Education and has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1940.

Rutherford, New Jersey Borough in New Jersey

Rutherford is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 18,061, reflecting a decline of 49 (−0.3%) from the 18,110 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 320 (+1.8%) from the 17,790 counted in the 1990 Census.

He began attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1949 with plans to join the ministry [2] and graduated cum laude in 1953 with high honors in history and is a member of Theta Delta Chi and Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Upon graduation from Tufts, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and attended the University of Melbourne in Australia where he received a second master's degree in 1956. In addition to the honorary doctorate-in-laws degree that Bowdoin awarded him in 1984, Pickering has been the recipient of 12 honorary degrees. [3]

Bowdoin College private liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine

Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine. At the time Bowdoin was chartered, in 1794, Maine was still a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The college offers 34 majors and 36 minors, as well as several joint engineering programs with Columbia, Caltech, Dartmouth College, and The University of Maine.

Brunswick, Maine Place in Maine, United States

Brunswick is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 20,278 at the 2010 United States Census. Part of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metropolitan area, Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, and the Maine State Music Theatre. It was formerly home to the U.S. Naval Air Station Brunswick, which was permanently closed on May 31, 2011.

Theta Delta Chi American social fraternity

Theta Delta Chi (ΘΔΧ) is a social fraternity that was founded in 1847 at Union College, New York, United States. While nicknames differ from institution to institution, the most common nicknames for the fraternity are TDX, Thete, Theta Delt, Thumpers and TDC. Theta Delta Chi brothers refer to their local organization as charges rather than using the common fraternity nomenclature of chapters.

Before joining the State Department, Pickering served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1959, [4] and later served in the Naval Reserve where he reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander. [5]

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Diplomatic career

His four-decade-long career in Foreign Service included ambassadorships in Russia (1993–1996); India (1992–1993); to the United Nations (1989–1992); Israel (1985–1988); El Salvador (1983–1985); Nigeria (1981–1983); and Jordan (1974–1978). Additionally, he served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 2000. He holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. [6]

United States Foreign Service responsible for the foreign policy of the United States

The United States Foreign Service is the primary personnel system used by the diplomatic service of the United States federal government, under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of over 13,000 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U.S. citizens abroad.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Israel country in the Middle East

Israel, also known as the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.

Early career

Early in his career, he was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Tanzania and later was Special Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry Kissinger. When Pickering served as United States Ambassador to Jordan in the mid-1970s, King Hussein declared him "the best American ambassador I've dealt with." [7] From 1978 to 1981, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. He then spent time as the United States Ambassador to Nigeria before President Ronald Reagan surprisingly replaced the Ambassador to El Salvador, Deane R. Hinton, and put Pickering in his place. [8]

Tanzania Country in Africa

Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.

William P. Rogers American politician

William Pierce Rogers was an American politician, diplomat, and lawyer. He served as United States Attorney General under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and United States Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon. Despite Rogers being a close confidant of Nixon, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger overshadowed Rogers and eventually succeeded him as Secretary of State.

Henry Kissinger 56th United States Secretary of State

Henry Alfred Kissinger is an American elder statesman, political scientist, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. Kissinger later sought, unsuccessfully, to return the prize after the ceasefire failed.

Pickering's time as United States Ambassador to El Salvador was particularly eventful. Only a year after having been appointed ambassador in 1984, Pickering was the subject of assassination threats from right-wing Salvadoran politicians. [7] The same year, Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina urged that Pickering be dismissed, arguing that he helped manipulate the country's elections. [9] In both cases, President Ronald Reagan offered Pickering his full support and he secured him a job as United States Ambassador to Israel after his appointment in El Salvador. It was later noted when Pickering was nominated as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations that he played a minor role in the Iran–Contra affair while Ambassador to El Salvador. [10]

As Ambassador to Israel, Pickering led the United States' criticism of an Israeli policy that expelled Palestinians accused of instilling uprising. [11] Pickering stressed to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that the United States considered the actions illegal and unhelpful for peace efforts. [12]

United Nations and on

President George H.W. Bush's appointment of Pickering as United States Ambassador to the United Nations was approved almost unanimously in the United State Senate in 1989 with no dissentions and only one abstention. [13] Pickering played a critical role as Ambassador during the First Gulf War, when he helped lead the United Nations Security Council's response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. [14] Bush's decision to move Pickering from the United Nations to become the United States Ambassador to India was highly criticized given Pickering's successful tenure. The New York Times declared that Pickering was "arguably the best-ever U.S. representative to that body" [15] and that the move was made simply because he overshadowed Secretary of State James A. Baker during the Persian Gulf Crisis. [16] Pickering's last ambassadorial appointment was made by President Bill Clinton who designated him United States Ambassador to Russia.

Following the resignation of Secretary of State Warren Christopher in 1996, Pickering was reportedly a top contender for the post, but was ultimately passed over in favor of then-UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright. [17]

From 1997 to 2001, Pickering served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the number-three position at the State Department. When Albright appointed him to the post, Time Magazine declared him the "five star general of the diplomatic corps". [18] In 1998, he was a special envoy to Nigeria and was meeting with imprisoned leader M. K. O. Abiola on the day of his release. In a BBC interview made at the time, Pickering recounted how during the meeting Abiola became ill, and died soon after. [19]

After the State Department

Following his retirement from the Foreign Service in 2001, Pickering served as Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing until 2006. Currently he is serving as independent board member at the world's biggest pipe company, OAO TMK, in Moscow. At present, he is affiliated with the International Crisis Group and currently serves as its Co-Chair, [20] and oversees their international actions as a co-chair. In addition, he is Chairman of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, Chairman of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, [21] Chairman of the American Academy of Diplomacy, Chairman of the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation, [22] and a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Global Panel Foundation based in Berlin, Prague and Sydney. [23]

Thomas R. Pickering Thomas R. Pickering in 2014.jpg
Thomas R. Pickering

Following his retirement, the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program was renamed the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program to honor Pickering. Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. [24] In May 2004, Bowdoin awarded Pickering the Bowdoin Prize, the highest award that the College bestows upon its graduates. [25]

Secretary Condoleezza Rice with (left to right): Tom Pickering, John Engler and John Breaux at the presentation of Final Report of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy Presentation of Final Report of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy.jpg
Secretary Condoleezza Rice with (left to right): Tom Pickering, John Engler and John Breaux at the presentation of Final Report of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy

Pickering serves on the board of directors for CRDF Global and the American Iranian Council, an organization devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and America. [26] He is currently a member of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee. [27] He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Henry L. Stimson Center board of directors as well as the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy firm, and America Abroad Media. [28] He serves on the Guiding Coalition of the nonpartisan Project on National Security Reform. Pickering also serves as an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America.

Pickering is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization that works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance. He is also a board member of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). [29]

In 2012, along with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, Pickering helped lead a State-Department-sponsored panel investigating the Attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. [30]

In 2014, Pickering gave the keynote speech at the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at West Point, New York, addressing the unique challenges that disaster preparedness poses to United States foreign policy planning. [31]

Pickering currently[ when? ] serves on the Board of Sponsors at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists .

Personal life

Pickering lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. His wife, the former Alice Jean Stover, whom he married in 1955, died in 2011. The couple had two children, Timothy and Margaret. [32]

Pickering is fluent in French, Spanish, and Swahili, and has a working knowledge of Russian, Hebrew, and Arabic. [33]

Honors and awards

In 2002 Thomas R. Pickering was presented the Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award by the American Foreign Service Association.

In May 2015 Pickering received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Brandeis University. He addressed the graduates as the commencement speaker.[ citation needed ]

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References

  1. About Rutherford High School Archived 2007-10-20 at the Wayback Machine , Rutherford High School. Accessed July 7, 2007. "Career diplomat and ambassador Thomas H. Pickering and presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan are among those honored as part of this tradition."
  2. "Ambassador Tom Pickering Lecture Introduction". Bowdoin College (Office of the President). Archived from the original on 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  3. "Ambassador Thomas Pickering '53 Wins Bowdoin Prize". Bowdoin College Campus News. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  4. "Biography: Thomas Pickering". United States State Department Web Site. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  5. "The American Academy of Diplomacy- Powell". The American Academy of Diplomacy Web Site. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
  6. "www.cfr.org". www.cfr.org. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  7. 1 2 Mohr, Charles (1988-12-07). "Bush's Selections for the United Nations, the C.I.A. and Top Economic Posts; Thomas Reeve Pickering, U.S. Representative to the United Nations". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
  8. Isaacson, Walter; Wierzynski, Gregory H. (1983-08-08). "Disappearing Act at Foggy Botton". Time . Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  9. "Taking Sides?". Time . 1984-05-14. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
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Government offices
Preceded by
Theodore L. Eliot Jr.
Executive Secretary of the Department of State
1973–1974
Succeeded by
George Springsteen
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
L. Dean Brown
United States Ambassador to Jordan
1974–1978
Succeeded by
Nicholas A. Veliotes
Preceded by
Stephen Low
United States Ambassador to Nigeria
1981–1983
Succeeded by
Thomas W. M. Smith
Preceded by
Deane R. Hinton
United States Ambassador to El Salvador
1983–1985
Succeeded by
Edwin G. Corr
Preceded by
Samuel W. Lewis
United States Ambassador to Israel
1985–1988
Succeeded by
William Andreas Brown
Preceded by
Vernon A. Walters
United States Ambassador to the United Nations
1989–1992
Succeeded by
Edward J. Perkins
Preceded by
William Clark
United States Ambassador to India
1992–1993
Succeeded by
Frank G. Wisner
Preceded by
Robert S. Strauss
United States Ambassador to Russia
1993–1996
Succeeded by
James F. Collins
Political offices
Preceded by
Patsy Mink
Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
1978–1981
Succeeded by
James Malone
Preceded by
Peter Tarnoff
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
1997–2000
Succeeded by
Marc Grossman