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Oil, Sanctions, and COVID-19: Iran and the U.S.

06/24/2020 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM MT


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Tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to escalate as the two countries pursue conflicting interests in Iraq and the region. Iran has been among the countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. What is the current situation in Iran, and how are they navigating a devastating public health crisis, the collapse of oil prices, and simultaneous international economic sanctions? What questions should be driving U.S. diplomatic and strategic policy on Iran and in the region? What realistic policies should the U.S. pursue now and post-November?   

Join WorldDenver as we welcome Ambassador Thomas Pickering in conversation with Dr. Roxane Farmanfarmaian to discuss the answers to all these questions and more in our upcoming Speaker Series event.

Members & Partners: $15 (Use code "WDMEMBER")
Non-Members: $25

About Our Speakers

Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering

Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering is Vice Chairman of Hills and Company where he has worked since December 2006. The firm provides consultancy services on a wide variety of international activities.

Tom served as the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York under President George H.W. Bush.  Tom led the U.S. effort to build a global coalition in the UN Security Council during and after the first Gulf War.  He also was the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton.

Tom holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service.  In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, he was U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  He also served on assignments in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  In Washington, Tom was Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Executive Secretary of the Department of State, and Special Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger.

After government, he was the Senior Vice President, International Relations, of The Boeing Company from 2001 to 2006.  In this role, Tom was responsible for Boeing’s relations with foreign governments and the company’s transition to a global organization.  Prior to that, he was briefly the president of the Eurasia Foundation, a Washington-based organization that makes small grants and loans in the states of the former Soviet Union.

In 2012, Tom chaired the Benghazi Accountability Review Board at the State Department.

In 1956, Tom entered into active duty in the U.S. Navy, and later served in the Naval Reserve to the grade of Lieutenant Commander.  He was assigned to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the State Department, later to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and served in Geneva as political adviser to the U.S. Delegation to the 18-Nation Disarmament Conference.

Tom is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is active in a number of not-for-profit boards, including the International Crisis Group, where he was previously Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Board; the current Chairman of the Boards of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.  He has been a Trustee at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Institute.  Tom maintains close, high-level contacts in all the countries in which he has served, as well as in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

He has a bachelor's degree, cum laude, with high honors in history, from Bowdoin College.  Tom received a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Melbourne in Australia, and received a second master's degree there.  Tom received an honorary doctor-in-laws degree from Bowdoin College, and has received similar honors from 14 other universities.

He received the Distinguished Presidential Award and the Department of State’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award.  Tom is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies.  He speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili and has some fluency in Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian.

Dr. Roxane Farmanfarmaian

Dr. Roxane Farmanfarmaian is the Director of International Studies and Global Politics at the University of Cambridge Institute for Continuing Education and a Senior Research Fellow at King's College London. As an expert on Middle East policy and media studies, she is both a consultant and a frequent speaker and broadcast commentator on current Middle East affairs, particularly on Iran, the Gulf, and the southern Mediterranean. She teaches at the Department of Political and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge, is a member of the European Leadership Network's Iran group which focuses on the nuclear deal (the JCPOA), and recently completed a Fellowship at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in Amsterdam. She is currently running a research project on 'Strategies and Ethics of Hybrid Warfare in the Gulf: Drones, Cyberwar and AI in the High-Stakes Struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia' for the Cambridge Middle East and North Africa Forum. Previously a journalist and reporter, she includes among her publications, Blood and Oil: A Prince's Memoir of Iran from the Shah to the Ayatollah, and, Media and Political Transition in the Southern Mediterranean (forthcoming in August), the fruit of a 5-year research project at Cambridge funded by Al-Jazeera. She obtained her PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge and her BA from Princeton. She currently lives in London and has a son attending the University of Southern California.

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