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Distinguished United States Ambassador Thomas Pickering will speak at a dinner launching the 50th anniversary celebration of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council (PAWAC). The six-time Ambassador will examine “Challenges to U.S. Foreign Policy” with his unique insight gained from over five decades as an American diplomat.

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Pickering has served as ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan under both Republican and Democratic administrations in a career that stretched from Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992 during the first Gulf War.

Ambassador PickeringWhenPickering was appointedUnder Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the number-three position at the State Department under then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Time magazine called him the “five-star general of the diplomatic corps.” He retired from full-time service in the State Department in 2001.

In 2012, Pickering helped lead a State Department-sponsored panel investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. He currently serves as vice chairman of Hills and Company, an international consulting firm.

With ambassadorships around the world, Pickering is expected to analyze various hot spots when he speaks at 7pm on Monday, March 23 at the Hayden Clark Alumni Center on the Bradley University campus.  His presentation is preceded by dinner at 6pm.

Pickering’s address is the first of several events commemorating PAWAC’s 50 years of providing education about world affairs in central Illinois. Other organizations partnering with PAWAC to celebrate the year-long anniversary are Bradley University, Illinois Central College, Eureka College and Methodist College. Get your tickets at, and read more about PAWAC in the March 2020 issue of Peoria Magazine! PS

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