Richard Haass

President, Council on Foreign Relations

The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11, Post-Lehman World

About the Speaker

Iran’s drive to expand its nuclear program significantly affects U.S. interests in the Middle East and should impact the United States’ efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, according to Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Haass, former director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department, suggests that worthy though the creation of a Palestinian state would be, it would not ameliorate either the wars in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Moreover, he says, the issue of Mideast peace is not ripe because of issues within Israel, the U.S.-Israeli relationship and the current mindset with the Palestinians’ leadership. Dr. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations since 2003, draws on the uniquely broad resources of the Council for his widely quoted and closely followed observations on Middle East matters and events around the world. His frequent appearances on national television, regular op-eds in major newspapers and convening power provide him the perspective that connects many regions and issues under one roof. Author or editor of 11 books on U.S. foreign policy, including War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars (Simon and Schuster, May 2009), Dr. Haass has also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H. W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.