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Founded in 1951, The Charlottesville Committee on Foreign Relations (CCFR) is a civic, non-partisan organization dedicated to the promotion of informed discussion of American foreign policy and international affairs.

It has achieved a distinguished record of bringing together concerned citizens in our area with leading authorities on world developments. The hallmark of CCFR is the creation of opportunities for in-depth exchanges on major international issues that increasingly affect our lives.

Amb. Ryan Crocker

Middle East Meltdown - Causes and Consequences

Thursday September 14,2017

Career Ambassador Ryan Crocker joined the Foreign Service in 1971 and since then has enjoyed an exceptional career with a front row seat dealing with events transpiring in the Middle East. With upheaval throughout the Middle East we start our 2017- ’18 year with Ambassador Crocker discussing the causes and consequences of these conflicts.
In his extraordinary career he has served four US Presidents as our Ambassador to six countries, beginning with Lebanon in 1990; Kuwait in 1994; Syria in 1998; Pakistan in 2004; Iraq in 2007; and Afghanistan in 2011.
Other notable assignments included an Iraqi appointment in 2003 as the first Director of Governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August, 2001 to 2003; along with other assignments in Iran, Qatar, and Egypt. In 1982, while posted in Beirut, Israel invaded Lebanon—and then while still there—he survived the bombings of the Embassy and Marine barracks in 1983.
 In 2010, after his first retirement from the State Department, Ambassador Crocker became the Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A & M. In 2011 Mr. Crocker was asked by President Obama to return to the foreign service as Ambassador to Afghanistan, where he served until 2012. Upon his second retirement from the State Department Ambassador Crocker returned to his position as Dean and Executive Professor at Texas A&M where he served until 2016. He has also served in the past as the Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale as well as here in Charlottesville where from 2012-2014 he was the James Schlesinger Visiting professor at the Miller Center.  This year Ambassador Crocker is on leave from Texas A&M and is now Diplomat-in-Residence at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs.
Ambassador Crocker holds many commendations: The Presidential Medal of Freedom (our highest civilian award), in 2009; Career Ambassador (the highest level in the State Department), in 2004; Honorary Marine (only the 75th civilian in the Marine Corps history), in 2012; the Award for Valor;  the CIA Director’s Award; and many more too numerous to mention here.
Born in Spokane, Washington into an Air Force family, he attended schools in Morocco, Canada and Turkey and subsequently received a BA degree in English in 1971 from the Whitman College (Wash.); he holds honorary doctorates from the National Defense University, Gonzaga, Seton Hall, and Whitman College.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the Association of American Ambassadors.  In August 2013, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors which oversees all U.S. government-supported civilian international media. He is also on the Board of Directors of Mercy Corps International.
Given our usual strong turn out for the  September dinner reservations should be made earlier than usual and not later than September 11.

Meal A: Citrus Swordfish
Meal B: Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
Meal C: Roasted Acorn Squash filled with Vegetable Orzo