Daniel Kurtzer, former US ambassador to Egypt and Israel gave two presentations on “America and the Middle East: Challenges of Change,” in Jackson. On February 6th, Dr. Kurtzer addressed students from Journeys High School, JH Community School, JH High School, and Summit HS at the JHHS auditorium. On February 7th, Dr. Kurtzer gave a public presentation at the Center for the Arts Theater.
In preparation for these events, InterConnections 21 and Teton County Library partnered to host a community book discussion on Pathways to Peace: America and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Ambassador Kurtzer edited this book, which was released in November 2012 and has a foreword by James Baker, Secretary of State under George H. W. Bush, and Samuel Berger, National Security Advisor under President Bill Clinton. Dr. Marianne Kamp, professor of Middle Eastern Studies at University of WY, facilitated this discussion. These events offered high school students and community members an opportunity to learn from an experienced and balanced former US diplomat about the importance and complexity of issues in the Middle East and how they affect various US interests and world peace. Brent Scowcroft recommended Ambassador Kurtzer to InterConnections 21 for this formidable and sensitive task.
Focus of Ambassador Kurtzer’s Presentations: The Middle East is in the throes of substantial change. In the midst of this uncertainty, conflicts-especially the persistent Arab-Israeli dispute and the civil war in Syria-beset the region. What are the prospects for resolving these issues, and what will be the impact of the unsettled situation in the region? What role should the United States play to secure our interests, help Arab societies transition to democracy, and resolve conflicts?
Ambassador Kurtzer’s Bio: Daniel C. Kurtzer served in the US Foreign Service for 29 years, including stints as US Ambassador to Egypt from 1997-2001 and then US Ambassador to Israel from 2001-2005. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2005 with the rank of career minister and has received several prestigious awards such as the President’s Distinguished Service Award. Currently, he is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. In addition to Pathways to Peace, Ambassador Kurtzer is co-author of The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011,which has just been released in January 2013.
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