Global Strategy & Tactics Today
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President George H.W. Bush. He led the U.S. effort to build a global coalition during and after the first Gulf War. He also served as the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President Clinton. Mr. Pickering holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service.
In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, Pickering was U.S. ambassador to Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. He was also Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs, the Department’s Executive Secretary, and Special Assistant to Secretaries William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger. Mr. Pickering maintains close, high-level contacts in all the countries in which he has served, and more broadly across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
From 2001 to June 2006, he was the Senior Vice President, International Relations of The Boeing Company. Mr. Pickering was responsible for Boeing’s relations with foreign governments and the company’s transition to a global organization. In 2012, he chaired the Benghazi Accountability Review Board at the State Department. Mr. Pickering serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He leads or is active in a number of not-for-profit boards.
Mr. Pickering received a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, a master's degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, a Fulbright Scholarship and second master’s degree from the University of Melbourne, and honorary degrees and distinctions from 14 universities. He has received the Distinguished Presidential Award and the Department of State’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Pickering speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili and has some fluency in Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian.