Last updated on: 9/17/2015 | Author: ProCon.org

William J. Burns, DPhil Biography

Title:
Former US Ambassador to Russia
Position:
Pro to the question "Is a Two-State Solution (Israel and Palestine) an Acceptable Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?"
Reasoning:

“The situation is extremely difficult right now particularly for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The situation is also extremely difficult for many Israelis who have to live every day with security threats. And the United States, as President Bush and Secretary of State Powell have made clear, remains firmly committed to trying to find a pathway that brings both peoples back to a political process. President Bush has made very clear his vision of a two-state solution in which two states, Israel and Palestine, can live side-by-side in peace, security, and dignity. We have been working in recent months very actively with our partners in the international Quartet, meaning the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and Russia to develop a practical pathway, a roadmap, to move in the direction of the vision that President Bush has outlined. And, to make a reality of that vision by the year 2005. The difficulties in the path of that undertaking are enormous. I don’t need to tell any of you that.”

“Assistant Secretary Burns’ Press Conference in Rabat, Morocco,” Dec.9, 2002

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • US Ambassador to Russia, 2005-2014
  • US Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, 2001-2005
  • Career member of the Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Minister-Counselor
  • Political Officer at the Embassy in Amman, Jordan
  • Staff Positions in the Bureau of Near East Affairs and the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State
  • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian
  • Affairs at the National Security Council Staff
  • Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff
  • Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the Embassy in Moscow
  • Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to the Secretary of State
  • Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • U.S. Foreign Service, 1982
Education:
  • DPhil, Oxford University, International Relations
  • MPhil, Oxford University, International Relations
  • BA, LaSalle University, History
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, LaSalle University, 1997
Other:
  • He retired from his career at the US State Department on Oct. 24, 2014