U.S.-Middle East Relations
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke
A seven-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Richard Holbrooke served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1999-2001 under President Bill Clinton. Previously he served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany, as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. Holbrooke was also the architect of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the Bosnian War in 1995. He authored the book "To End a War" about his experiences. He is the only person to have held the Assistant Secretary of State position for two different regions of the world.
Ambassador Holbrooke passed away in 2010.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke discusses the tough decisions faced by career diplomats in service to their governments in a public address at the Clinton School. As an example, Holbrooke applauds the bravery of a few select consular officials from various countries who ignored government orders during World War II to allow visas to Jews facing persecution from Hitler’s Nazi regime. In painting the historical picture, Holbrooke recalls that the events of the 1940s left many Jews without visas and instead sent to deadly concentration camps. While many may think such tragedy could not occur in present time, Holbrooke says similar events are happening today in Iraq. Only 466 Iraqi refugees have been granted U.S. visas, he says, even though more than 2 million Iraqi citizens have now fled their home country.