Council on Foreign Relations
April 17, 2008
In February, Martin Indyk and Richard Haass engaged leading Gulf policymakers in detailed conversations about what they are looking for from a new American president. While all those with whom they spoke were fascinated by the American presidential primary elections and seem to be following the results closely, few have yet focused on the possibility that a significant change in U.S. foreign policy might result from a new administration in Washington. There was also a significant disconnect between leaders and publics: The leaders are focused on how the next administration will deal with complex regional security challenge posed by Iran, whereas the publics are hoping that a new president will resolve the Palestinian issue and press authoritarian governments to be more open, transparent and accountable.
Richard N. Haass is President of the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to this, Haass was Director of Policy Planning for the Department of State, where he was a Principal Adviser to Secretary of State Colin Powell. He also served as U.S. Coordinator for Policy toward the future of Afghanistan and was the lead U.S. government official in support of the Northern Ireland peace process. Before this, Haass was Special Assistant to President George Bush and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. He also served in the Departments of State (1981-85) and Defense (1979-80) and was a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate. Haass has served as Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, Sol M. Linowitz Visiting Professor of international studies at Hamilton College, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Martin Indyk is the Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He served in several senior positions in the U.S. government, most recently as ambassador to Israel and assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs. He was also a founding executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has published widely on Palestinian-Israeli peace and other topics in Middle East policy, and is now working on a study of the Clinton Administration’s diplomacy in the region.