Elliott Abrams, former deputy national security adviser in George W. Bush's administration, will become the latest distinguished lecturer to join the ranks of School of Foreign Service faculty this spring.
Abrams, who specialized in Middle Eastern affairs during his time in the Bush administration, will teach an international affairs course titled "The United States Policy and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from 9/11 to 2011."
"I look forward to teaching at Georgetown and meeting the students who sign up," Abrams said in an email. "My hope is that my experiences in the Department of State and the White House over the years give some additional insight into policymaking in an area that remains of great importance for the United States."
Currently a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Abrams also served as the senior director for democracy and human rights and senior director for the Near East in the Bush administration. Abrams was also the assistant secretary of state for United Nations affairs, human rights and Latin America in the Reagan administration.
Abrams' numerous postings throughout the years have not come without controversy. In 1991, Abrams was convicted of two misdemeanors for withholding information related to the Iran-Contra affair from Congress. In the political scandal, President Ronald Reagan and other senior U.S. officials covertly facilitated arms sales to Iran during an arms embargo. Abrams was later pardoned by George H. W. Bush shortly before the end of his term in 1992.
Abrams's SFS seminar course will focus on the U.S. stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Bush and Obama administrations. According to the course description, subject matter includes an in-depth analysis of U.S. policy throughout that time period, including: Bush's endorsement of Palestinian statehood; the peace process work of the Quartet, a body composed of the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia; Bush's support for Gaza disengagement; and the 2007 Annapolis Conference.
According to the course description, the class will then discuss 'Fayyadism' and other political debates regarding the formation of U.S. policy.
Jacques Berlinerblau, professor and director of the Program for Jewish Civilization, was pleased with the addition of Abrams to the SFS faculty.
"We are delighted to have an individual of his distinction and stature teaching our students," Berlinerblau said. "His wealth of experience having served in two presidential administrations will undoubtedly be a valuable asset for our students."
SFS Academic Council President Josh Mogil (SFS '11) agreed with Berlinerblau.
"SFS students are smart enough to appreciate that our diverse faculty only strengthens the quality of the SFS program," Mogil said. "Professor Abrams served two presidents as a foreign policy advisor, and his insights will be unique and interesting for our students to debate."