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From Trump to Biden: Shifting Policies Towards the Middle East – David Schenker

Apr 28, 2021

David Schenker is a Senior Fellow at The Washington Institute. He joined an AIJAC Live Online webinar on 28 April 2021.

Confirmed by the Senate on June 5, 2019, Schenker served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs through January 2021. In that capacity, he was the principal Middle East advisor to the secretary of state and the senior official overseeing the conduct of US policy and diplomacy in a region stretching from Morocco to Iran to Yemen, with responsibility for eighteen countries, the Palestinian Authority, and Western Sahara.

In addition to developing and implementing the US strategy on China in the region, Schenker worked to heal the Gulf rift between Qatar and neighbouring states, resolve intractable conflicts in Libya and Yemen, consolidate the Abraham Accords, and counter malign Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Previously, from 2002 to 2006, Schenker served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Levant country director, the Pentagon’s top policy aide on the Arab nations of the Levant. In that capacity, he advised the secretary and other senior Pentagon leadership on the military and political affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. He was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2005.

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