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Ambassador Martin Indyk  

Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy, Brookings Institute; Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel

He played a leading role in building bridges to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. He was responsible for the evolution of Iraq policy from "containment" to "regime change" during the Clinton Administration. Over the past nine years he has been an active participant in all the dramatic Middle Eastern events that have grabbed the world's attention. As the first -- and second -- Jewish U.S. Ambassador to the State of Israel, he worked intimately with five Israeli Prime Ministers (Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak and Sharon).

As President Clinton's Middle East adviser at the National Security Council, Ambassador Indyk was responsible for handling the 1993 Oslo signing ceremony and for helping to negotiate the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty. In 1995, President Clinton sent him to Israel as ambassador to work with Prime Minister Rabin on the Syrian deal. He was at the hospital when Rabin died from the assassin's bullets. Two years later he helped President Clinton negotiate the Wye River Agreement and in January 2000 the President sent him back to Israel to work on the effort to achieve a comprehensive peace. He was at Camp David for the collapse of the negotiations and on the frontlines in Israel for the first year of the intifadah. President Bush asked Indyk to stay on in Israel to help him deal with the crisis.

Martin Indyk also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 1997 to 1999 where he had responsibility for the entire Middle East region. During this period, as well as in his earlier stint at the National Security Council, he was responsible for U.S. policy towards the "rogue states" of Iraq, Iran and Libya. He developed the strategy of "dual containment" for dealing with the threats from Iraq and Iran and then had responsibility for changing the strategy to seek Saddam Hussein's overthrow and attempt to engage with Iran. During this period he worked closely with the leaders of the Arab world (including President Mubarak, King Hussein and King Abdullah of Jordan, and King Hassan and King Mohammed of Morocco) and also took the lead in quiet diplomatic contacts with Libya to get it out of the terrorism business.

He is currently Director of The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the prestigious Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. where he writes and comments on current Middle East issues through regular TV appearances and opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Foreign Affairs. He is writing a book on Clinton Administration Middle East Policy, which will be published in 2003 by Alfred A. Knopf.

Ambassador Indyk was awarded the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award for his work on the Hebron Agreement, and the Ronald H. Brown Award for his role in establishing the US-Israel Science and Technology Commission. For his efforts to strengthen US-Israel relations and promote Arab-Israeli peace he received the Louis Brandeis Award, the Tel Aviv University President's Award, the Haifa University Humanitarian Award and an Honorary Doctorate from the Hebrew Union College.

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