Djerejian, Edward (1939–)

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A U.S. diplomat, born in 1939, Edward Djerejian is an eminent Arabist, considered one of the best American specialists on the Middle East. After joining the State Department in 1962, he was posted to Lebanon (1965–1969), then to Morocco (1969–1972), in the capacity of chargé d'affaires. Between 1984 and 1986, he was head of the U.S. mission in the Kingdom of Jordan, then from 1986 to 1987, spokesperson for Ronald Reagan's White House. From 1989 to 1991 Djerejian was U.S. ambassador to Syria, where he was appreciated for his profound knowledge of the Lebanese situation. He participated in the Middle East peace conference held in Madrid. While in Damascus, he maintained very good relations with Syrian foreign minister Faruk al-Shara. From 1991 to 1993 he was undersecretary of state for the Middle East. In December 1993 he was named U.S. ambassador to Israel by Bill Clinton. Djerejian resigned his post in 1994, feeling that he was shut out of the Israeli-Arab peace negotiations. Upon his return to the United States, he was hired by the Rice Institute in Houston, Texas, to head the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. In 2003 Djerejian was invited by Colin Powell, secretary of state under President George W. Bush, to chair the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World, a panel assembled at the request of Congress to study the efficacy of U.S. diplomacy and to recommend policy initiatives. The group published its first report in October 2003.