Marcia Robbins Wilf Lecture to feature ambassador Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The seventh annual Dr. Marcia Robbins Wilf Lecture will feature ambassador Dennis Ross on Sunday, Nov. 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Jubilee Hall Auditorium at Seton Hall University.

Ross presently serves as counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an organization dedicated to advancing “a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them.”

Prior to returning to the Washington Institute in 2011, Ross served two years as special assistant to President Barack Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

For more than 12 years, Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.

A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ross worked closely with secretaries of state James Baker, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.

During the Reagan administration, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President Clinton, and secretaries Baker and Albright presented him with the State Department’s highest award.

Thanks to the generosity of Marcia Robbins Wilf, founding trustee of the Sister Rose Thering Fund, prestigious lecturers, such as Ross, are invited each year to Seton Hall to promote interreligious understanding and dialogue. The lecturers themselves, who come from all areas of academia across the country, draw an audience from the entire university as well as the surrounding communities.

The mission of the Sister Rose Thering Fund at Seton Hall is to advance Sister Rose’s legacy by fostering understanding and cooperation among Jews, Christians and people of other religious traditions through advocacy and education. Thering served as administrator, recruiting educators and raising funds to defray tuition costs, until her retirement in 2005.

Click here for more info and to register for the Nov. 12 lecture. Seton Hall University is located at 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange.