Senior Vice President, International Relations, Boeing
About the Speaker
Tom Pickering is senior vice president for International Relations for Boeing. He joined the company and assumed this position in January 2001 upon his retirement as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In this position, Pickering oversees the company's international affairs, including those with foreign governments. He is a member of the company's Executive Council and reports to the Chairman.
Pickering served as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs since May 1997. Prior to that, he served briefly as the president of the Eurasia Foundation, a Washington-based organization that makes small grants and loans in the states of the former Soviet Union.
Pickering held the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, he has served as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Pickering also served on assignments in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
From 1989 to 1992, he served as Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York. He also served as Executive Secretary of the Department of State and Special Assistant to Secretaries William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger from 1973 to 1974.
Pickering entered on active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1956-1959, and later served in the Naval Reserve to the grade of Lieutenant Commander. Between 1959 and 1961, he served in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the State Department, in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and from 1962 to 1964 in
Geneva as political adviser to the U.S. Delegation to the 18-Nation Disarmament Conference.
Pickering received a bachelor's degree, cum laude, with high honors in history, from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1953. In 1954, he received a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Melbourne in Australia, and received a second master's degree in 1956. In 1984, he was awarded an honorary doctor-in-laws degree from Bowdoin College, and has received similar honors from 12 other universities.
In 1983 and in 1986, Pickering won the Distinguished Presidential Award and, in 1996, the Department of State’s highest award – the Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations. He speaks French, Spanish, Swahili, Arabic and Hebrew.
Pickering was born Nov. 5, 1931, in Orange, N.J.