Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian Returns to Carnegie Corporation of New York Board of Trustees

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian Returns to Carnegie Corporation of New York Board of Trustees

New York, New York, June 9, 2022 — Following a unanimous vote, Carnegie Corporation of New York’s trustees announced today that Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian will return to the foundation’s board for a four-year term. He is a former Corporation trustee who, among other responsibilities, served as vice-chairman during two previous terms on the board (2011–2019).

A career diplomat who held numerous high-level posts around the world, Ambassador Djerejian is the only American to ever serve as U.S. ambassador to both Israel and Syria. In 1994, he became the founding director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, developing it into one of the nation’s top nonpartisan public policy think tanks. Last year, Djerejian announced that he would retire from the institute, and he will step down from the directorship later this month.

In addition, the Corporation announced that Caroline Kennedy has resigned from the board, having served as a trustee since 2018. Kennedy gave up her volunteer position with the foundation earlier this year after being confirmed by the Senate as U.S. ambassador to Australia. She previously served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2107 during the Obama administration.

“Edward Djerejian is a distinguished statesman whose renowned diplomatic skills have helped resolve conflicts and paved the way for peaceful engagements throughout the world, especially in the Middle East and South Asia — we are honored to welcome him back to the board,” said Governor Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the Corporation’s board of trustees, former chair of the 9/11 Commission, and former governor of New Jersey. “And on behalf of all the trustees and Corporation staff,” Kean continued, “I would like to thank Caroline Kennedy for her service to the foundation. She is an exceptional public servant whose wisdom, expertise, and commitment to our country’s democratic ideals will be put to good use in representing the United States at a time of fierce geopolitical tensions. We wish her much continued success as ambassador to Australia.”

In recognition of Ambassador Djerejian’s service, Rice University announced in May 2022 that the Baker Institute’s Center for the Middle East will now be known as the Edward P. Djerejian Center for the Middle East. The university noted Djerejian’s “extraordinary leadership and deeply impactful foreign service career” in providing what the center describes as comprehensive analyses of regional issues, events, and trends that impact U.S. policy and global stability.

Ambassador Djerejian’s career in the U.S. Foreign Service spanned eight presidencies, from John F. Kennedy to William J. Clinton, making him a leading expert on national security and foreign policy. Among the high points: at the onset of the Iraq War, Secretary of State Colin Powell appointed Djerejian chair of the bipartisan Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim World, and a few years later, he presided over the bipartisan Iraq Study Group as senior policy advisor. Djerejian describes his experiences in his memoir, Danger and Opportunity: An American Ambassador’s Journey through the Middle East.

Ambassador Djerejian’s decades of public serve as a diplomat have been recognized with many honors, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award; the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award; Lebanon’s National Order of the Cedar, bestowed by President Émile Lahoud; Morocco’s Order of Ouissam Alaouite, bestowed by King Mohammed VI; and the Armenian Medal of Honor.

Ambassador Djerejian’s term on the Corporation’s board of trustees will begin in September 2022.

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