October 31, 2008

AMHERST, Mass. – Dennis Ross, Middle East policy advisor to the Barack Obama presidential campaign and former U.S. ambassador to the Middle East, will deliver a lecture titled “Prospects for Peace: The Middle East in 2009 and Beyond” on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Cole Assembly Room of Amherst College’s Converse Hall. The talk is free and open to the public.

A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ross has played a prominent role in developing American political strategy on the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations and the 1991 Gulf War coalition. He has worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, having served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment under President Reagan, director of the State Department’s Policy Planning office during the H.W. Bush administration and special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton. He recently left a position at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy to work as full-time advisor to Obama. He was also the first chairman of a Jerusalem-based think tank, the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, funded and founded by the Jewish Agency.

A UCLA graduate, Ross has published extensively on the former Soviet Union, arms control and the greater Middle East. He is a frequent contributor to the Financial Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and U.S. News & World Report. He also is the author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace and Statecraft.

Ross’s talk is sponsored by Amherst College Hillel, the Association of Amherst Students and the Department of Political Science, as well as the Offices of the President, the Dean of the Faculty and the Jewish Religious Advisor.