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Thomas Reeve "Tom" Pickering (born November 5, 1931) is a retired United States ambassador. Among his many diplomatic appointments, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
United Nations
from 1989 to 1992.

Contents

1 Background

1.1 Early life 1.2 Education and Service in the Navy

2 Diplomatic career

2.1 Early career 2.2 United Nations
United Nations
and on

3 After the State Department 4 Personal life 5 Honors and awards 6 References 7 External links

Background[edit] Early life[edit] Born in Orange, New Jersey, Pickering is the son of Hamilton Reeve Pickering and Sarah Chasteney Pickering. He graduated from Rutherford High School in Rutherford, New Jersey.[1] Education and Service in the Navy[edit] He began attending Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College
in Brunswick, Maine
Brunswick, Maine
in 1949 with plans to join the ministry[2] and graduated cum laude in 1953 with high honors in history and is a member of Theta Delta Chi and Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
Tufts University
in Medford, Massachusetts. Upon graduation from Tufts, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and attended the University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
in Australia
Australia
where he received a second master's degree in 1956. In addition to the honorary doctorate-in-laws degree that Bowdoin awarded him in 1984, Pickering has been the recipient of 12 honorary degrees.[3] Before joining the State Department, Pickering served on active duty in the United States Navy
United States Navy
from 1956 to 1959,[4] and later served in the Naval Reserve where he reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander.[5] Diplomatic career[edit] His four-decade-long career in Foreign Service included ambassadorships in Russia
Russia
(1993–1996); India (1992–1993); to the United Nations
United Nations
(1989–1992); Israel
Israel
(1985–1988); El Salvador (1983–1985); Nigeria
Nigeria
(1981–1983); and Jordan (1974–1978). Additionally, he served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 2000. He holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service.[6] Early career[edit] Early in his career, he was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Tanzania and later was Special
Special
Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry Kissinger. When Pickering served as United States Ambassador to Jordan in the mid-1970s, King Hussein
King Hussein
declared him “the best American ambassador I’ve dealt with”.[7] From 1978 to 1981, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. He then spent time as the United States Ambassador to Nigeria
United States Ambassador to Nigeria
before President Ronald Reagan surprisingly replaced the Ambassador to El Salvador, Deane R. Hinton, and put Pickering in his place.[8] Pickering’s time as United States Ambassador to El Salvador
United States Ambassador to El Salvador
was particularly eventful. Only a year after having been appointed ambassador in 1984, Pickering was the subject of assassination threats from right-wing Salvadoran politicians.[7] The same year, Republican Senator Jesse Helms
Jesse Helms
of North Carolina
North Carolina
urged that Pickering be dismissed, arguing that he helped manipulate the country’s elections.[9] In both cases, President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
offered Pickering his full support and he secured him a job as United States Ambassador to Israel
Israel
after his appointment in El Salvador. It was later noted when Pickering was nominated as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations that he played a minor role in the Iran-Contra affair
Iran-Contra affair
while Ambassador to El Salvador.[10] As Ambassador to Israel, Pickering led the United States’ criticism of an Israeli policy that expelled Palestinians accused of instilling uprising.[11] Pickering stressed to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir that the United States considered the actions illegal and unhelpful for peace efforts.[12] United Nations
United Nations
and on[edit] President George H.W. Bush’s appointment of Pickering as United States Ambassador to the United Nations
United Nations
was approved almost unanimously in the United State Senate
United State Senate
in 1989 with no dissentions and only one abstention.[13] Pickering played a critical role as Ambassador during the First Gulf War, when he helped lead the United Nations Security Council’s response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.[14] Bush’s decision to move Pickering from the United Nations to become the United States Ambassador to India
United States Ambassador to India
was highly criticized given Pickering’s successful tenure. The New York Times declared that Pickering was “arguably the best-ever U.S. representative to that body” [15] and that the move was made simply because he overshadowed Secretary of State James A. Baker during the Persian Gulf Crisis.[16] Pickering’s last ambassadorial appointment was made by President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
who designated him United States Ambassador to Russia. Following the resignation of Secretary of State Warren Christopher
Warren Christopher
in 1996, Pickering was reportedly a top contender for the post, but was ultimately passed over in favor of then-UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright.[17] From 1997 to 2001, Pickering served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the number-three position at the State Department. When Albright appointed him to the post, Time Magazine
Time Magazine
declared him the "five star general of the diplomatic corps".[18] In 1998, he was a special envoy to Nigeria
Nigeria
and was meeting with imprisoned leader M. K. O. Abiola on the day of his release. In a BBC interview made at the time, Pickering recounted how during the meeting Abiola became ill, and died soon after.[19] After the State Department[edit] Following his retirement from the Foreign Service in 2001, Pickering served as Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing until 2006. Currently he is serving as independent board member at the world's biggest pipe company, OAO TMK, in Moscow. At present, he is affiliated with the International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group
and currently serves as its Co-Chair,[20] and oversees their international actions as a co-chair. In addition, he is Chairman of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, Chairman of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy,[21] Chairman of the American Academy of Diplomacy, Chairman of the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation,[22] and a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Global Panel Foundation based in Berlin, Prague and Sydney.[23]

Thomas R. Pickering

Following his retirement, the U.S. Department of State
Department of State
Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program was renamed the Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program to honor Pickering. Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of State
Department of State
and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.[24] In May 2004, Bowdoin awarded Pickering the Bowdoin Prize, the highest award that the College bestows upon its graduates.[25]

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
with (left to right): Tom Pickering, John Engler and John Breaux
John Breaux
at the presentation of Final Report of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy

Pickering serves on the board of directors for CRDF Global and the American Iranian Council, an organization devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and America.[26] He is currently a member of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee.[27] He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Henry L. Stimson Center
Henry L. Stimson Center
board of directors as well as the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, the political risk consultancy firm, and America Abroad Media.[28] He serves on the Guiding Coalition of the nonpartisan Project on National Security Reform. Pickering also serves as an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America. Pickering is a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization which works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law. It does so by making available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today’s national leaders. It is a not-for-profit organization composed of former heads of government, senior governmental and international organization officials who work closely with Heads of Government on governance-related issues of concern to them. In 2012, along with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, Pickering helped lead a State-Department-sponsored panel investigating the Attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.[29] In 2014, Pickering gave the keynote speech at the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at West Point, New York, addressing the unique challenges that disaster preparedness poses to United States foreign policy planning.[30] Pickering currently[when?] serves on the Board of Sponsors at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Personal life[edit] Pickering lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. His wife, the former Alice Jean Stover, whom he married in 1955, died in 2011. The couple had two children, Timothy and Margaret.[31] Pickering is fluent in French, Spanish, and Swahili, and has a working knowledge of Russian, Hebrew, and Arabic.[32] Honors and awards[edit] In May 2015 Pickering received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Brandeis University. He addressed the graduates as the commencement speaker.[citation needed] References[edit]

^ About Rutherford High School Archived 2007-10-20 at the Wayback Machine., Rutherford High School. Accessed July 7, 2007. "Career diplomat and ambassador Thomas H. Pickering and presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan are among those honored as part of this tradition." ^ "Ambassador Tom Pickering Lecture Introduction". Bowdoin College (Office of the President). Archived from the original on 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  ^ "Ambassador Thomas Pickering '53 Wins Bowdoin Prize". Bowdoin College Campus News. Retrieved 2008-02-18.  ^ "Biography: Thomas Pickering". United States State Department Web Site. Archived from the original on 1997-07-05. Retrieved 2008-02-18.  ^ "The American Academy of Diplomacy- Powell". The American Academy of Diplomacy Web Site. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2008-02-18.  ^ "www.cfr.org". www.cfr.org. Retrieved 2009-05-05.  ^ a b Mohr, Charles (1988-12-07). "Bush's Selections for the United Nations, the C.I.A. and Top Economic Posts; Thomas Reeve Pickering, U.S. Representative to the United Nations". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ Isaacson, Walter; Wierzynski, Gregory H. (1983-08-08). "Disappearing Act at Foggy Botton". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  ^ "Taking Sides?". Time Magazine. 1984-05-14. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ "Bush's Choice for U.N. Carried Contra Appeal". New York Times. 1988-12-08. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ Brinkley, Joel (1988-08-25). "U.S. Criticism Sets Off Furor In Israel". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ "Middle East Trials and Errors". Time Magazine. 1988-01-11. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  ^ "Senate Backs U.N. Delegate". New York Times. 1989-03-08. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ Lewis, Paul (1990-11-10). "MIDEAST TENSIONS; U.S. Envoy to U.N. on Center Stage". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ Gelb, Leslie H. (1992-02-03). "Foreign Affairs; End U.S. Dipbaloney". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ Gelb, Leslie H. (1992-02-03). "Jan 24-30: A Quick Study; A Diplomat's Diplomat Goes to Russia". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-19.  ^ [1][dead link] ^ "The Many Lives of Madeleine". Time Magazine. 1997-02-17. Retrieved 2009-02-20.  ^ Turner, Martin (July 7, 1998). "Abiola's death - an eyewitness account". Abuja. BBC News. Retrieved May 11, 2012.  ^ International Crisis Group
International Crisis Group
Annual Report 2014 ^ "Board of Advisers".  ^ "Our Directors & Staff - Rostropovich Vishnevskaya Foundation".  ^ "Board of Advisors - About - The National Bureau of Asian Research".  ^ "The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars". The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. Archived from the original on February 26, 2007. Retrieved 2017-04-20.  ^ "Ambassador Thomas Pickering '53 Wins Bowdoin Prize". Bowdoin College Campus News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  ^ "www.american-iranian.org". www.american-iranian.org. 2009-03-25. Retrieved 2009-05-05.  ^ "www.constitutionproject.org". www.constitutionproject.org. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2009-05-05.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2014-06-16.  ^ Politics, NBC. "Chilly reception for McCain idea of special Benghazi panel".  ^ http://www.westpoint.edu/news/SitePages/66th%20SCUSA.aspx ^ "Alice Pickering Obituary - Demaine Funeral Home - Alexandria VA".  ^ "Ambassador Tom Pickering Lecture Introduction". Bowdoin College Office of the President. Archived from the original on 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas R. Pickering.

Thomas Reeve Pickering (1931 - ) U.S. Department of State
Department of State
Office of the Historian Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
at The American Academy of Diplomacy Charting the Future of U.S.-India Relations, June 2011 interview with Ambassador Thomas Pickering Appearances on C-SPAN Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
on Charlie Rose Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
on IMDb Works by or about Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
in libraries ( WorldCat
WorldCat
catalog) " Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
collected news and commentary". The New York Times.  Video (with audio available) conversations with Pickering on Bloggingheads.tv Interview with Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
in Spanish newspaper El País
El País
on 12 Juli 2009

Government offices

Preceded by Theodore L. Eliot Jr. Executive Secretary of the Department of State 1973–1974 Succeeded by George Springsteen

Diplomatic posts

Preceded by L. Dean Brown United States Ambassador to Jordan 1974–1978 Succeeded by Nicholas A. Veliotes

Preceded by Stephen Low United States Ambassador to Nigeria 1981–1983 Succeeded by Thomas W. M. Smith

Preceded by Deane R. Hinton United States Ambassador to El Salvador 1983–1985 Succeeded by Edwin G. Corr

Preceded by Samuel W. Lewis United States Ambassador to Israel 1985–1988 Succeeded by William Andreas Brown

Preceded by Vernon A. Walters United States Ambassador to the United Nations 1989–1992 Succeeded by Edward J. Perkins

Preceded by William Clark United States Ambassador to India 1992–1993 Succeeded by Frank G. Wisner

Preceded by Robert S. Strauss United States Ambassador to Russia 1993–1996 Succeeded by James F. Collins

Political offices

Preceded by Patsy Mink Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs 1978–1981 Succeeded by James Malone

Preceded by Peter Tarnoff Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs 1997–2000 Succeeded by Marc Grossman

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Walworth Barbour
(1961–73) Kenneth Keating (1973–75) Malcolm Toon
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(1975–76) Samuel W. Lewis
Samuel W. Lewis
(1977–85) Thomas R. Pickering
Thomas R. Pickering
(1985–88) William Andreas Brown
William Andreas Brown
(1988–92) William C. Harrop (1992–93) Edward Djerejian
Edward Djerejian
(1994) Martin Indyk
Martin Indyk
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Authority control

WorldCat
WorldCat
Identities VIAF: 94936679 LCCN: n79026916 ISNI: 0000 0000 7102 4086 GN

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