Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (1997-2000) and as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. He also was the U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he led the U.S. effort to build a coalition in the UN Security Council during and after the first Gulf War. He has held additional positions in Tanzania, Geneva, and Washington, including as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs and as Special Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry A Kissinger. After retiring from the State Department, Ambassador Pickering joined The Boeing Company as Senior Vice President of International Relations and was a member of the Executive Council, where he was responsible for the Company’s relations with foreign governments and the globalization of Boeing. He is now Vice-Chairman of Hills & Company International Consultants and serves on several not-for-profit boards. He holds degrees from Bowdoin College, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the University of Melbourne and speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili fluently and also Arabic, Hebrew and Russian.