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Juniata Hosts Former Ambassador for Lecture on Middle East

(Posted March 10, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Edward Walker, president of The Middle East Institute, will speak at Juniata College on "Middle East: Area of Crisis" at 7 p.m., Monday, March 17 in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Science Center on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Walker is the only U.S. diplomat who has served as ambassador to both Israel and Egypt. He became the head of the Middle East Institute in 2001. The institute is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that offers analysis on Middle East policy

Before coming to the institute, Walker worked directly with Secretary of State Colin Powell as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, a position he also held during the second Clinton Administration, working directly for former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

As Assistant Secretary of State, he helped negotiate U.S. policy toward Iraq and helped fine-tune the nation's policies toward Iran and the peace process in the Middle East.

Walker served as the ambassador to Israel from 1997 to 1999. He also held the positions of ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt (1994-1997), Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations with ambassadorial rank (1993-1994), and ambassador to the United Arab Emirates through the period of the Gulf War (1989-1992).

He has worked closely with almost every major Israeli politician, including Golda Meir, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon. He also has worked with Anwar Sadat, former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarek, current president of Egypt, the late King Hussein of Jordan and King Fahd and Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Walker also writes a "Letters from Washington" column for the Al Hayat newspaper, one of the most widely read Arabic-language newspapers in the Middle East.

Since his entry into the Foreign Service in 1967, Walker has served extensively in the Middle East. Over the course of his career he has toured Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Egypt. He also held the position if Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia. His Washington, D.C. assignments include two years as Special Assistant to the President's Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Negotiations (1979-1981), and two years as executive assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State (1982-1984). In 1988, Walker was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

He earned his bachelor's degree at Hamilton College and his master's degree at Boston University. In 1962, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving three years in Heidelberg, Germany. Later, in 1985, he attended the Royal College of Defense Studies in London.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.