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COLUMBUS, Ga. — A seasoned diplomat who has spent a lifetime involved in international politics is speaking at Columbus State University Tuesday evening about global threats to U.S. security.
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering holds the rank of career ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, Pickering has served as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
“Ambassador Pickering will be the fourth U.S. ambassador to visit us, and he is certainly the longest-serving and most accomplished,” said Tom Dolan, professor of political science at CSU. “He has agreed to come to Columbus as he returns from the Middle East and before he goes back to Europe later this week, so we are very fortunate that he will be speaking to us.”
In 2012, Pickering chaired the Benghazi Accountability Review Board at the request of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The review board made recommendations on improving security stemming from the attack on the U.S. Mission at Benghazi, Libya on Sep. 11, 2012.
Pickering earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He earned his first master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and his second from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He currently serves as vice chairman at Hills and Company, an international trade consulting firm.
Pickering’s talk is part of CSU’s Col. Richard R. Hallock Lecture Series, named after Col. Richard R. Hallock, a decorated career military officer, former personal aide for intelligence to Gen. Lucas Clay in Berlin after WWII and consultant to former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger. The lecture series is funded by the Richard R. Hallock Foundation and coordinated by CSU’s Department of Politics, Philosophy and Public Administration.
Pickering’s lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 in CSU’s Cunningham Conference Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd. Admission is free and open to the public.