Dennis B. Ross

Doctor of Humane Letters

No longer in the thick of active diplomacy, Dennis Ross is currently writing a book about his work in the service of peace in the Middle East. Like his informed and penetrating opinion pieces and lectures on the subject, the book will be required reading for anyone hoping to understand the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

As special Middle East Coordinator for the Clinton administration, Ambassador Ross helped achieve the 1995 Interim Agreement, and brokered the Hebron Accord in 1997. In a February 2002 opinion piece in The Washington Post, he continued to express the hopeful view that despite new outbreaks of violence, progress could be made in that troubled region, calling on both sides for "both conventional and unconventional responses." He acknowledged the need for formal, governmental and military moves directly aimed at stopping the violence. But he wrote also about the possibility of "unofficial, people-to-people efforts," specifically forums in which both Israelis and Palestinians could articulate their grievances and demonstrate that "peaceful coexistence is not an illusion."

A 1970 graduate of UCLA, Ross covers an impressively wide geopolitical spectrum in his scholarship and diplomacy. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decision-making. As director of the State Department's Policy Planning Office in the first Bush administration, he worked on U.S. policy toward the Soviets, on the unification of Germany, on arms control negotiations, and on the development of the Gulf War coalition. He served on the National Security Council as director of Near East and South Asian Affairs during the Reagan administration. Having stepped back from shuttle diplomacy, he is now distinguished fellow and counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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