|Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs|
|Preceded by||Peter Tarnoff|
|Succeeded by||Marc Grossman|
|United States Ambassador to Russia|
October 6 2016 –October 22 2008
|Preceded by||Robert S. Strauss|
|Succeeded by||James F. Collins|
|United States Ambassador to India|
October 23 2019 –March 23, 1993
|President|| George H. W. Bush |
|Preceded by||William Clark|
|Succeeded by||Frank G. Wisner|
|18th United States Ambassador to the United Nations|
February 27 2015 –May 7, 1992
|President||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Vernon A. Walters|
|Succeeded by||Edward J. Perkins|
|United States Ambassador to Israel|
August 6, 1985 –December 28, 1988
|Preceded by||Samuel W. Lewis|
|Succeeded by||William Andreas Brown|
|United States Ambassador to El Salvador|
September 20 2003 –June 7, 1985
|Preceded by||Deane R. Hinton|
|Succeeded by||Edwin G. Corr|
|United States Ambassador to Nigeria|
November 30, 1981 –July 9, 1983
|Preceded by||Stephen Low|
|Succeeded by||Thomas W. M. Smith|
|Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs|
October 10, 1978 –February 24, 1981
|President|| Jimmy Carter |
|Preceded by||Patsy Mink|
|Succeeded by||James Malone|
|United States Ambassador to Jordan|
March 2, 1974 –July 13, 1978
|President|| Richard Nixon |
|Preceded by||L. Dean Brown|
|Succeeded by||Nicholas A. Veliotes|
|Executive Secretary of the Department of State|
July 30, 1973 –January 31, 1974
|Preceded by||Theodore L. Eliot Jr.|
|Succeeded by||George Springsteen|
Thomas Reeve Pickering
November 5, 1931
Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
(m. 1955;died 2011)
|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.
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.
He began attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1949 with plans to join the ministryand 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.
Before joining the State Department, Pickering served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1959,and later served in the Naval Reserve where he reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
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.
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."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.
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.The same year, Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina urged that Pickering be dismissed, arguing that he helped manipulate the country's elections. 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.
As Ambassador to Israel, Pickering led the United States' criticism of an Israeli policy that expelled Palestinians accused of instilling uprising.Pickering stressed to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that the United States considered the actions illegal and unhelpful for peace efforts.
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.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. 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" and that the move was made simply because he overshadowed Secretary of State James A. Baker during the Persian Gulf Crisis. 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.
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".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.
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,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 Board of Advisers of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Chairman of the American Academy of Diplomacy, Chairman of the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation, 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.
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.In May 2004, Bowdoin awarded Pickering the Bowdoin Prize, the highest award that the College bestows upon its graduates.
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.He is currently a member of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee. 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. 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).
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.
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.
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.
Pickering is fluent in French, Spanish, and Swahili, and has a working knowledge of Russian, Hebrew, and Arabic.
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 degree from Brandeis University. He addressed the graduates as the commencement speaker.[ citation needed ]
Anne Woods Patterson is an American diplomat and career Foreign Service Officer. She served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2013 to 2017. She previously served as United States Ambassador to Egypt until 2013 and as United States Ambassador to Pakistan from July 2007 to October 2010.
Edward Peter Djerejian is a former United States diplomat who served in eight administrations from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton (1962–94.) He served as the United States Ambassador to Syria (1988–91) and Israel (1993–94), Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Press Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1985–1986), and was Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (1991–1993.) He is the director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Djerejian was elected chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation’s board of directors (2013–2015). He is managing partner of Djerejian Global Consultancies, LLP. Djerejian is the author of the book Danger and Opportunity: An American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East
R. Nicholas Burns is a university professor, columnist, lecturer and former American diplomat. He is currently Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Board of Directors of the school's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. At the Harvard Kennedy School, he is director of The Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the programs on the Middle East and India and South Asia. He is Director of the Aspen Strategy Group, senior counselor at The Cohen Group and serves on the Board of Directors of Entegris, Inc. He writes a bi-weekly column on foreign affairs for The Boston Globe and is a senior foreign affairs columnist for GlobalPost. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, Special Olympics, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Atlantic Council, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, American Media Abroad, the Gennadius Library and the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.
Nathaniel Davis was a career diplomat who served in the United States Foreign Service for 36 years. His final years were spent teaching at Harvey Mudd College, one of the Claremont Colleges.
Matthew James Bryza is a former United States diplomat. His last post in the United States foreign service was the United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan.
Malcolm Toon was an American diplomat who served as a Foreign Service Officer in Moscow in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, during the Cold War, ultimately becoming the ambassador to the Soviet Union.
Thomas Joel Miller is a former American diplomat and three-time U.S. Ambassador who served from 2010 until 2018 as President/CEO of International Executive Service Corps (IESC). IESC is a 50-year-old non-profit started by David Rockefeller and other prominent American businesspeople focusing on creating prosperity and stability through private enterprise; it has worked in over 130 countries.
William Caldwell Harrop is an American diplomat. Harrop served for 39 years as a Foreign Service Officer, with postings as United States ambassador to Guinea, Kenya and the Seychelles, the Congo (Kinshasa), and Israel.
The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is a graduate school fellowship program that provides funding for graduate students as they prepare academically and professionally to enter the U.S. Foreign Service.
James Franklin Collins is a former United States Ambassador to Russia. A career Foreign Service Officer in the State Department, he is a Russian specialist.
Frederic Lincoln Chapin was a United States diplomat. He was the ambassador to Ethiopia and Guatemala.
Thomas David Boyatt is a former diplomat and United States Ambassador to Burkina Faso (1978–80) and Colombia (1980–83). He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. He was held captive for six days in a Palestinian hijacking in the 1960s. He graduated from Wyoming High School in 1951. He continues to return to his former high school to speak to students during the Wyoming School Foundation Day.
Robert Halsey Pelletreau is a diplomat and former United States Ambassador to Bahrain (1979–80), Tunisia (1987–91), and Egypt (1991–93), as well as the former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He currently sits on the U.S. Advisory Council of Israel Policy Forum. He is also a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and Council on Foreign Relations.
Richard Salisbury Williamson was an American lawyer, diplomat and political advisor. He previously served as Special Envoy to Sudan under George W. Bush. Williamson was a partner at Winston & Strawn and was also Thomas J. Sharkey Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Seton Hall's Whitehead School of Diplomacy.
African-Americans in foreign policy in the United States catalogs distinguished African Americans who have and continue to contribute to international development, diplomacy, and defense through their work with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, and the U.S. Congress, and other notable agencies and non-governmental organizations. The creators acknowledge the presence of the interagency contributions to the foreign affairs realm, and welcome additional content to showcase the achievements of African-Americans in other relevant USG agencies.
Michael A. Hammer is a United States career diplomat who was the United States Ambassador to Chile. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 6, 2014 and sworn in on March 7, 2014. He was nominated to be the next ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo by President Donald Trump on June 20, 2018 and confirmed by the Senate on September 6, 2018.
Daniel R. Russel is an American diplomat who served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2013 to 2017. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary, Russel was Special Assistant to the President and National Security Staff Senior Director for Asian Affairs. While working at the White House, he was a major figure in the Obama administration's "pivot towards Asia" strategy.
Eric Seth Rubin is an American diplomat who served as United States Ambassador to Bulgaria from 2016 to 2019.
Career diplomat and ambassador Thomas H. Pickering and presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan are among those honored as part of this tradition.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas R. Pickering .|
Theodore L. Eliot Jr.
| Executive Secretary of the Department of State |
L. Dean Brown
| United States Ambassador to Jordan |
Nicholas A. Veliotes
| United States Ambassador to Nigeria |
Thomas W. M. Smith
Deane R. Hinton
| United States Ambassador to El Salvador |
Edwin G. Corr
Samuel W. Lewis
| United States Ambassador to Israel |
William Andreas Brown
Vernon A. Walters
| United States Ambassador to the United Nations |
Edward J. Perkins
| United States Ambassador to India |
Frank G. Wisner
Robert S. Strauss
| United States Ambassador to Russia |
James F. Collins
| Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs |
| Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs |