Former ambassador, journalist share views on Middle East

SEATTLE –  Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and veteran Middle East journalist Lawrence Pintak will offer their collective insights into the challenges facing our nation in that critical region of the world in Seattle next week as part of presentation sponsored by the Seattle City Club, WSU and the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.

Crocker, who recently retired after 37 years as a career ambassador with the U.S. Foreign Service, and Pintak, newly named founding dean of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, are expected to explore a variety of Middle East issues, including U.S. efforts to help Iraqis build a stable and prosperous country; whether there are signs of progress towards a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; and what is likely to be the result of recent elections in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

A featured program of the Seattle City Club’s “Rapid Response” presentation series, the event will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Mirabella, 116 Fairview Ave. N., in Seattle. Admission to the event is $15 to the general public and $10 to those affiliated with the Seattle City Club, Mirabella or WSU. Tickets are available through the Seattle City Club and will be sold just prior to the event beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Following two years of service as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Crocker retired in 2009. He also served previously as ambassador to Pakistan from 2004 to 2007, ambassador to Syria from 1998 to 2001, ambassador to Kuwait from 1994 to 1997 and ambassador to Lebanon from 1990 to 1993.

From May to August 2003, Crocker was in Baghdad as the first director of governance for the Coalition Provisional Authority.

A veteran of more than 30 years in journalism on four continents, Pintak has contributed to many of the world’s leading news organizations. As CBS News Middle East correspondent in the 1980s, he covered the Iran-Iraq War, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the rise of Hezbollah and the birth of suicide bombing – including the 1983 destruction of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

Pintak spent the past four years as director of the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research at The American University in Cairo, where he has run the only graduate degree program in journalism in the Arab world and a variety of training programs for professional journalists. He was named founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication this past May.

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