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Photo: Mike Minehan

Former US Ambassador; James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, Texas

American Academy Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2004

Edward P. Djerejian is the founding director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, a position he began in August 1994. A leading expert on the complex political, security, economic, religious and ethnic issues of the Middle East, Ambassador Djerejian has held a number of increasingly responsible positions related to this vital region.Prior to his nomination by President Clinton as United States Ambassador to Israel (1993), Ambassador Djerejian served both President Bush and President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (1991-1993) and President Reagan and President Bush as US Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic (1988-1991). He has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (1986-1988) and Deputy Chief of the US mission to the Kingdom of Jordan (1981-1984). In addition to his experience in Middle Eastern affairs, Ambassador Djerejian is also an expert in Soviet and Russian affairs.


Djerejian has been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the President’s Meritorious Service Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Moral Statesman Award, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He is also a recipient of the Association of Rice Alumni’s Gold Medal, the group’s most prestigious award, for his service to the university. In 2011, Djerejian was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was named to the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In 2013, he was elected independent chairman of the board of directors of Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

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