Edward Djerejian is one of the United States’ most esteemed diplomats, public policy advisors, and public diplomacy experts. He is currently the Director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. At the request of then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, Ambassador Djerejian served as the Chairman of the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim Worlds. The group, sometimes known as “The Djerejian Group,�? released a report in October 2003 called [ “Changing Minds, Winning Peace�?] that outlined problems with the United States’ public diplomacy efforts and offered solutions to fix them. The report was critical of the current state of public diplomacy in the Middle East and other Muslim countries and said the United States was financially scrimping on public diplomacy and not making substantive efforts to reach out to those nations. The report recommended recruiting Arabic-speaking diplomats, offering more scholarships to Arab and Muslim students, and re-evaluating the structure and organization of U.S. public diplomacy work.

Ambassador Djerejian was born and raised in New York City and graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1960. He then served as a First Lieutenant for the United States Army in Korea for two years before joining the Foreign Service where he worked throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Previously, Ambassador Djerejian was the U.S. Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic under President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, Ambassador to Israel under President Clinton, and the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs under President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton. He has been a key player in Middle East policy including furthering the Arab-Israeli peace process, working to end the civil war in Lebanon, and helping the U.S. led coalition in the first Gulf War. He is also an expert in Soviet and Russian affairs, and was directing the political section of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

The Ambassador has been honored with many awards, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 1994 and the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award in 1993. He is fluent in Arabic, Russian, French and Armenian in addition to English.

Ambassador Djerejian is married with two children.

Sources Used:, Alberta, Canada guest speaker biographies, The Baker Institute

Speeches and Statements on Public Diplomacy

  • Changing Minds, Winning Peace, report presented to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Washington, D.C. (October 1, 2003)
  • Testimony before the Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice and State, The Judiciary and Related Agencies (February 4, 2004)
  • Council on Foreign Relations (October 7, 2003) Transcript: A New Strategic Direction for U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World
  • Guiding Principles for U.S. Post-Conflict Policy in Iraq, report of an Independent Working Group co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University (2002)
  • Commencement Address Middlebury College (August 13, 2004)

Other Reading

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