< Distinguished speaker series

David Schenker

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Taube Senior Fellow and Director, Program on Arab Politics, The Washington Institute

The Ukraine Crisis: Why America’s Mideast Partners are Sitting on the Fence

DATE: April 21, 2022 6:00 pm

Event information


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked Europe’s biggest security crisis since World War II,
uniting U.S. NATO allies beyond anyone’s expectations. But in the Middle East, America’s
security partners are nearly all sitting on the fence. They’re reluctant to condemn the Russian
invasion unwilling to share their advanced weapons technology with Ukraine or to boost oil and
David Schenker, the top State Department official dealing with the Middle East from 2019 to
2021, will discuss what’s gone wrong in America’s Middle East policy, why Middle East
partners are hedging their bets and what can be done about it.
As Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, David oversaw policy for 18 countries,
the Palestinian Authority and Western Sahara. He managed 9,000 staff and budget of $7 billion.
He had previously served as country director for the Levant in the Office of the Secretary of
Defense from 2006 to 2006 and is currently the Taube Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute
for Near East Policy. He has a B.A. from the University of Vermont, a M.A. from the University
of Michigan and a certificate in Arabic studies from the American University in Cairo.