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Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World

posted on: Nov 18, 2020

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World

On Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 8 pm ET, the Arab America Foundation presents, “Experiences of Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World,” featuring six former US Ambassadors to the Arab World. The event will be moderated by Hazami Barmada, a recipient of the Arab America Foundation’s “40 Under 40” initiative for 2020.

Our US Ambassadors are diplomats who represent US policies and interests in foreign countries around the world. In this event, we will hear from former Ambassadors who have served in the Arab World. What were their experiences? What did they learn about Arab identity and culture? Did their image of the Arab World change? Are they maintaining a connection with the region and its people? Does their knowledge of the Arab World have an impact in the U.S.?  Join us for what promises to be a truly historic, unique, and insightful event!

Register in advance for this Zoom meeting, Thursday, November 19 at 8 pm ET here:

https://arabamerica.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkce6hrj8pH9RefKFulvR0fIfX0lMOerwB

We will feature the following speakers:

Hazami Barmada, Moderator

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World
Hazami Barmada

Hazami Barmada is a thought-leader, catalyst, and social innovator, recognized by Forbes as an “inspirational agent of change.” Barmada has consulted dozens of leading global organizations on social impact, change management, strategic communications, global governance, and leadership development. She has held several strategies and global engagement positions at the United Nations, including serving as the Coordinator for the United Nations Secretary General’s World Humanitarian Summit and as the head of global engagement and communications for the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. She has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard where she was a Fellow in Public Policy and Management. She is a Presidential Leadership Scholar and taught Adaptive Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Barmada is a recipient of the Arab America Foundation’s “40 Under 40” for 2020.

Ambassador (ret) Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, Former Ambassador to Malta

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World
Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley

Throughout her 30-year career in international diplomacy, Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley has been a steadfast proponent of achieving excellence through diversity in organizations and breaking down barriers for women and minorities. Among her many senior roles in world affairs, Ms. Abercrombie-Winstanley was the longest-serving U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malta. In another role as the Secretary of State’s Special Assistant for the Middle East and Africa, she monitored the election in the Gaza Strip and actively supported gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the first woman to lead a diplomatic mission there. She attended George Washington University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree. She also earned a master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.

Ambassador (ret) Gordon Gray, Former Ambassador to Tunisia

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World
Gordon Gray

Ambassador (ret.) Gordon Gray is the Chief Operating Officer at the Center for American Progress. Prior to his retirement from the U.S. government after 35 years of service, he was the Deputy Commandant at the National War College. Ambassador Gray was the U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia from 2009 until 2012, witnessing the start of the Arab Spring and directing the U.S. response in support of Tunisia’s transition. He served in Iraq as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador from 2008-2009 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2005-2008. Ambassador (ret.) Gray’s other foreign assignments include Egypt, Canada, Jordan, Pakistan, and Morocco, where he began his career in government as a Peace Corps volunteer. He holds a B.A. from Yale and an M.A. from Columbia, as well as an honorary M.S. from the National Defense University

Ambassador (ret) Deborah Jones, Former Ambassador to Libya and Kuwait

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World
Deborah Jones

Ambassador Deborah K. Jones retired from the U.S. Department of State in November 2016 with the rank of Career Minister following 34 years of service that included postings as U.S. Ambassador to the State of Kuwait (2008 – 2011) and to Libya (2013 – 2015). Her last assignment was as Deputy Commandant/International Affairs Advisor at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (formerly ICAF) of the National Defense University. Ambassador Jones works as a private consultant and chairs the boards of AMIDEAST and the Hollings Center for East-West Dialog. Ambassador Jones received a BS in History, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University. She is a “Distinguished Graduate” of the National War College, National Defense University, with a Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy.

Ambassador Elizabeth Richard, Former Ambassador to Lebanon

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World
Elizabeth Richard

Ambassador Elizabeth Richard served most recently as the U.S. Ambassador to the Lebanese Republic, from 2016 until 2020. Prior to this, she served for nearly three years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for U.S. Assistance. She was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Sanaa, Yemen, from 2010 to 2013. She is a career foreign service officer, with 30 years of service. From 2008 to 2010, Ambassador Richard was the Border Coordinator in Islamabad, Pakistan, where she maintained oversight of all U.S. programs along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan to ensure that U.S. efforts were synchronized across both regions. Ambassador Richard is a graduate of the National War College in Washington DC, and of the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. She has a law degree from Southern Methodist University and practiced admiralty law in Texas before joining the Foreign Service.

Ambassador (ret) Richard Schmierer, Former Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World
Richard Schmierer

Ambassador (ret) Richard Schmierer is the President and Chairman of the Board of the Middle East Policy Council. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman from 2009 through 2012. Schmierer completed his 34-year Foreign Service career in 2014 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA). In 2013 he served as NEA Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. Previously he was the NEA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq. Schmierer taught at Georgetown University 2005-2007, where he published the book Iraq: Policy and Perceptions. He had prior diplomatic postings in Iraq, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. Schmierer holds a B.A. degree from Lehigh University, and MA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Ambassador (ret) Patrick Theros, Former Ambassador to the State of Qatar

Arab America Foundation Hosts Former US Ambassadors to the Arab World
Patrick Theros

Ambassador Patrick Nickolas Theros graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1963 and entered the U.S. Foreign Service. He served in a variety of posts before presenting his credentials as Ambassador of the United States to the State of Qatar in 1995. After his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1999, Ambassador Theros assumed office as the President of the US-Qatar Business Council. In August 2017, he retired from the Business Council and has now joined the Gulf International Forum as Strategic Advisor. Ambassador Theros has also represented the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the United States since 1999.

About the Arab America Foundation

The Arab America Foundation (AAF) is a non-profit (501c3) educational and cultural organization. The mission of AAF is to promote the Arab heritage, empower and educate others about the Arab identity, connect Arab Americans, and build coalitions with diverse organizations across the U.S.

For more information about the Arab America Foundation, click here.

For media inquiries, contact Lindsey Penn here.

Register in advance for this Zoom meeting, Thursday, November 19 at 8 pm ET here:

https://arabamerica.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkce6hrj8pH9RefKFulvR0fIfX0lMOerwB

 

 

Compiled by Arab America

 

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