Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian is the director of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. His career in the U.S. Foreign Service spanned the administrations of eight presidents from John F. Kennedy to William J. Clinton. Djerejian is a leading expert on national security, foreign policy, and the complex political, security, economic, religious and ethnic issues of the Middle East and South Asia. He has played key roles in the Arab-Israeli peace process and regional conflict resolution. He is the author of “Danger and Opportunity: An American Ambassador's Journey Through the Middle East.”
Prior to his nomination as U.S. ambassador to Israel, he served both President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs and President Ronald Reagan and President Bush as U.S. ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic. He was special assistant to President Reagan and deputy press secretary for foreign affairs in the White House.
Djerejian’s assignments in the Foreign Service included political officer in Beirut, Lebanon, and Casablanca, Morocco; deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan; and consul general in Bordeaux, France. He headed the political section in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during the critical period in U.S.-Soviet relations marked by the invasion of Afghanistan. He served in the United States Army as a first lieutenant in the Republic of Korea following his graduation from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Georgetown, as well as a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from Middlebury College.
Djerejian has been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award; the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award; the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; the Anti-Defamation League’s Moral Statesman Award; the Award for Humanitarian Diplomacy from Netanya Academic College in Israel; the National Order of the Cedar, bestowed by President Émile Lahoud of Lebanon; and the Order of Ouissam Alaouite, bestowed by King Mohammed VI of Morocco. He is also a recipient of the Association of Rice Alumni’s Gold Medal for his service to the university. Djerejian is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
At the request of Secretary of State Colin Powell, Djerejian chaired the congressionally mandated bipartisan Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World. He also served as senior advisor to the Iraq Study Group (ISG), a bipartisan panel mandated by Congress to assess the situation in Iraq. The Baker Institute was an organizing sponsor of the ISG.
Djerejian is married to the former Françoise Andrée Liliane Marie Haelters. They have a son, Gregory Peter Djerejian; a daughter, Francesca Natalia Djerejian; and two grandchildren, Isabel Alessandra Djerejian and Sebastian Edward Djerejian.