Ambassador Thomas Pickering retired from the State Department as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In a diplomatic career with service in each of the major continents, Ambassador Pickering reached the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador; Nigeria, and Jordan. He also was the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he led the U.S. effort to build a coalition in the UN Security Council during and after the first Gulf War. He has held additional positions in Tanzania, Geneva, and Washington, including as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs and as Executive Secretary of the Department and Special Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger.
Ambassador Pickering was awarded the Distinguished Presidential Award in 1983 and 1986, and the Distinguished Service Award, the U.S. Department of State’s highest honor, in 1996. He also holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. Ambassador Pickering was presented with the Hans J. Morgenthau Award for Distinguished Public Service from the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in 1993.
After retiring from the State Department in 2000, Ambassador Pickering joined The Boeing Company as Senior Vice President International Relations and member of the Executive Council, where he was responsible for the Company’s relations with foreign governments and the globalization of Boeing. Ambassador Pickering holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College, an M.A.L.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a second M.A. from the University of Melbourne in Australia, where he studied under a Fulbright Scholarship. He speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili fluently and also is proficient in Arabic, Hebrew and Russian.