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U.S.- Iran Relations: What is Next?

October 23, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Since the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, and its imposition of a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against Iran, the U.S.-Iran conflict has continued to escalate. Despite European efforts to salvage the nuclear deal, Iran recently announced further steps away from compliance with the JCPOA. Is military confrontation between both countries inevitable or is there still a viable diplomatic off-ramp?
Ambassador Pickering will address the recent developments in the ongoing conflict and will discuss potential scenarios.

Speaker: Ambassador Thomas Pickering

In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, Thomas R. Pickering was U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. 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.

He was also U.S. ambassador and 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. Prior, Ambassador Pickering served in the U.S. Navy from 1956-1959, and later in the Naval Reserve to the grade of Lieutenant Commander. He was then assigned to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the State Department and later to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

He last served as under secretary of state for political affairs, the third highest post in the U.S. State Department. After retiring from the State Department in 2000, Ambassador Pickering joined the Boeing Company, where he was senior vice president for international relations.

He holds degrees from Bowdoin College, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the University of Melbourne, and, besides English, speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili and has some fluency in Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian. Ambassador Pickering received the Distinguished Presidential Award and the Department of State’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award.

Currently, he is vice chairman of Hills & Company, an international consulting firm providing advice to U.S. businesses on investment, trade, and risk assessment issues abroad, particularly in emerging market economies. He is also a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Furthermore, Ambassador Pickering is active in a number of not-for-profit boards, including the International Crisis Group, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.









5:00 PM:  Registration and Cash Bar opens

5:45 PM: Program begins

6:30 – 7:00 PM: Q&A


Parking options at the Jefferson Hotel include street-side parking, valet parking, or self-parking at the Jefferson’s Main Lot, where a discounted rate of $4 is available. Find parking instructions for the Main Lot here.


Pre-registration has closed. A limited number of tickets may become available at the door.


Date: October 23, 2019
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Venue Name: The Jefferson Hotel (Empire Room)
Address: 101 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA 23220 United States


Organizer Name: Richmond World Affairs Council