Ambassador David Satterfield: Israeli Protests, Turkish Elections, Iran-Saudi Relations and the U.S.’s Role & Future in the Middle East
Pre-Reception: 6:30 PM OPEN TO ALL
Program: 7:00 PM
About the event:
Few American foreign policy leaders have as deep an understanding and direct experience in the Middle East than Ambassador David Satterfield. He has served the U.S. as: Assistant Secretary of State; Special Envoy; Ambassador to Turkey; Ambassador to Lebanon; Charge’ d’Affaires (Acting Ambassador) in Iraq and Egypt; and other critical positions.
In the 20 years since the U.S. Invasion of Iraq in 2003, the region has changed enormously, as has the degree of U.S. influence in the Middle East – especially with some of its long-term, traditional allies.
In recent weeks and months, three key developments highlight the continuing evolution and unpredictability of the Middle East, and the ongoing challenges for U.S. relations with vital partners in the region:
The large scale & widespread protests joined by most sectors of Israeli society against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms – causing many to fear an authoritarian drift, if left unopposed.
The upcoming run-off elections in Turkey and deep concerns that President Erdogan might manipulate or disregard the election results – further increasing instability in a crucial NATO ally, which is geopolitically vital for the Ukraine War and security across much of the Middle East.
The recent and perhaps unexpected détente negotiated by China between longtime adversaries Iran & Saudi Arabia – how much has really changed between the Saudis & Iranians, and what does this imply about the U.S.’s actual influence on Saudi Arabia?
Ambassador Satterfield will discuss the realities of these three important developments, and what they may mean for the broader outlook for the Middle East and the U.S.’s standing and future in the region.
About the speaker:
Ambassador David Satterfield – Fmr U.S. Ambassador to Turkey & Jordan, Acting U.S. Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
The Honorable David M. Satterfield is the director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and leads the institute’s Edward P. Djerejian Center for the Middle East. He is also the Janice and Robert McNair Chair in Public Policy. He has more than four decades of diplomatic and leadership experience, including service as special envoy for the Horn of Africa, assistant secretary of state, National Security Council staff director and as ambassador to Lebanon and Turkey and charge’ d’affaires in Iraq and Egypt.
Satterfield’s extensive bilateral and multinational negotiating background most notably includes the 1995 Roadmap for Israel-Palestinian Peace (with the United Nations), the 2000 withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces from Lebanon and Blue Line boundary agreement (with the United Nations), and the 2008 Status of Forces Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq. As the State Department’s coordinator for Iraq, he managed the largest domestic staff in the department’s history and directed fundamental reforms to the Foreign Service.
As director general of the Multinational Force and Observers, Satterfield conceived and directed the comprehensive modernization of military and civilian peacekeeping operations and led fundraising efforts with the U.S. Congress and donor governments.
Among other honors, Satterfield is the recipient of the highest Department of State recognition, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Award, and the highest award for senior federal executives, the Office of Personnel Management Distinguished Federal Executive Rank Award.
Satterfield is a graduate of the University of Maryland and speaks Arabic, French and Italian. He is married to Elizabeth Ann Fritschle, a career Foreign Service officer.