Ambassador Dennis Ross is Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and in dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ambassador Ross was this country’s point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians in reaching the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the Hebron Accord in 1997, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.
A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Ross worked closely with secretaries of state James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning office in the first Bush administration. In that position, he played a prominent role in developing U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the development of the 1991 Gulf War coalition. During the Reagan administration, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and as deputy director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. Ambassador Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President Clinton, and Secretaries Baker and Albright presented him with the State Department’s highest award.
A 1970 graduate of UCLA, Ambassador Ross wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decision-making, and from 1984 to 1986 served as executive director of the Berkeley-Stanford program on Soviet International Behavior. He has received UCLA’s highest medal and has been named UCLA alumni of the year. He has also received honorary doctorates from the Jewish Theological Seminary and Syracuse University. Ambassador Ross has published extensively on the former Soviet Union, arms control, and the greater Middle East, contributing numerous chapters to anthologies. In the 1970s and 1980s, his articles appeared in World Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Orbis, International Security, Survival, and Journal of Strategic Studies. Since leaving the government in 2001, he has published in Foreign Policy and The National Interest. Mr. Ross is also a frequent contributor to the The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.