For Immediate Release

August 17, 2018



WASHINGTON: The Washington Institute congratulates Ambassador James F. Jeffrey — former U.S. envoy to Turkey and Iraq and the organization's Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow — on his appointment today as the State Department’s Special Representative for Syrian Engagement.

“Jim Jeffrey is a national treasure,” said Institute executive director Dr. Robert Satloff. “Any Administration would be wise to find a way to inject his insight, intellect, backbone, experience and wit into the highest levels of American foreign policymaking. Secretary Pompeo deserves high marks for creating a position that taps Jim’s special talents.”

One of the nation's most senior diplomats, Ambassador Jeffrey has held a series of highly sensitive posts in Washington D.C. and abroad. In addition to his service as ambassador in Ankara and Baghdad, he served as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration, with a special focus on Iran. He previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, where his responsibilities included leading the Iran policy team and coordinating public diplomacy. Earlier appointments included service as senior advisor on Iraq to the secretary of state; chargé d'affaires and deputy chief of mission in Baghdad; deputy chief of mission in Ankara; and ambassador to Albania.

A former infantry officer in the U.S. army, Ambassador Jeffrey served in Germany and Vietnam from 1969 to 1976.

“We take great pride in Jim Jeffrey’s appointment and hope his past writing and future advice will help our government navigate one of the most difficult and perplexing foreign policy challenges we face today — the crisis in Syria,” said Institute Chairman James Schreiber and President Shelly Kassen.

Since joining the Institute in 2012, Jeffrey has written and spoken widely on U.S. strategy in the Middle East, with a focus on Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. He is the co-author, with Dennis Ross, of the Transition 2017 paper General Principles to Guide U.S. Middle East Policy  and most recently was a lead contributor to the Institute publication Toward a New U.S. Policy in Syria: Group Zero for Countering Iran and Deterring an Islamic State Revival.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

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