Ambassador Thomas Pickering: The U.S. and Russia

Event offered by:
Foreign Policy Association

Event Details

Wednesday, December 5, 2001
11:45 AM - 2:00 PM 
Bar Association of the City of New York
New York, NY
Event type
Lunch / Dinner  

Event Transcripts and Video

Off-the Record Lecture Series event

Presider: Ann Charters, OTR Board of Governors

Event Speakers

    • Tom Pickering - Speaker
      Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs


      Tom Pickering served as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from May, 1997 to December, 2000. Prior to that, he served briefly as the president of the Eurasia Foundation, a Washington-based organization that makes small grants and loans in the states of the former Soviet Union.


      Pickering held the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, he has served as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Pickering also served on assignments in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


      From 1989 to 1993, he served as Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York. Another notable assignment was his service as Executive Secretary of the Department of State and Special Assistant to Secretary William P. Rogers and Secretary Henry A. Kissinger from 1973 to 1974.


      Pickering's service to the U.S. government began in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1959. Between 1959 and 1961, he served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the State Department, in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and from 1962 to 1964 in Geneva as political adviser to the U.S. Delegation to the 18-Nation Disarmament Conference.


      Pickering received a bachelor's degree, cum laude, with high honors in history, from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1953. In 1954, he received a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the University of Melbourne in Australia, and received a second master's degree in 1956.


      In 1983 and in 1986, Pickering won the Distinguished Presidential Award and in, 1996, the State Department's Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations. He speaks French, Spanish, Swahili, Arabic and Hebrew.


      Currently, Tom Pickering is senior vice president of International Relations for Boeing. In this newly created position, Pickering oversees the company's international affairs, is a member of the company's Executive Council and reports to the Office of the Chairman.