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A nation must think before it acts.
Daniel Kurtzer holds the S. Daniel Abraham Chair in Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. During a 29-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Kurtzer served as the United States Ambassador to Israel and as the United States Ambassador to Egypt. He held a number of senior policy and diplomatic positions, including political officer at the American embassies in Cairo and Tel Aviv, speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research. He was instrumental in formulating and executing American policy in the Middle East peace process. Since leaving government service, Amb. Kurtzer has authored numerous articles on U.S. policy. He is the co-author, with Scott Lasensky, of Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace: American Leadership in the Middle East. He served as an advisor to the Iraq Study Group, and currently serves on the Advisory Council of the American Bar Association’s Middle East-North Africa Rule of Law Initiative; as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo; and as a member of the New Jersey-Israel Commission. Ambassador Kurtzer received a B.A. from Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. in comparative politics from Columbia University. He has received distinguished service awards from the President, the Secretary of State and the United States Intelligence Community.
This essay is based on a lecture for a two-day History Institute for Teachers sponsored by FPRI’s Wachman Center in cooperation with the American Institute for History Education on U.S. Foreign Policy and the Modern Middle East.