Israel-Palestinian negotiations and Syrian crisis topic at Baker Institute March 22


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Israel-Palestinian negotiations and Syrian crisis topic at high-level Baker Institute conference March 22

HOUSTON – (March 15, 2013) –As part of its 20th anniversary event series, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, will host a conference on U.S. engagement on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the crisis in Syria March 22 at the institute.

The conference will conclude with a Shell Distinguished Lecture Series keynote by U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford.

Who: Leading Baker Institute and Woodrow Wilson Center Middle East experts as well as Arab media leaders and U.S. State Department officials.

What: Conference on U.S. engagement on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the crisis in Syria.

When: Friday, March 22, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: Rice University, Baker Hall, Kelly International Conference Facility, 6100 Main St.

Conference panelists will include Baker Institute fellows and scholars Yair Hirschfeld and Andrew Bowen as well as Woodrow Wilson Center Middle East Program experts Aaron David Miller and Robin Wright. Also joining the discussion will be Ambassador Fred Hof, U.S. special representative to Syria, and the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al Awsat, Adel al Toraifi.

The Baker Institute’s founding director, former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Edward Djerejian, will speak on U.S. policy and the “Arab Spring” and will moderate a panel discussion on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Miller will give a luncheon address on lessons learned from peacemaking in Israel and Palestine. The Woodrow Wilson Center’s Middle East Program director, Haleh Esfandiari, will moderate the afternoon panel on Syria. After the conclusion of the afternoon discussion panel, Ford will present his Shell Distinguished Lecture Series address. A reception will follow.

The Baker Institute celebrates its 20th year in 2013. To mark this milestone, the institute has planned a series of special events that highlight its programs and research. Throughout the year, lectures and conferences will focus on a host of important and timely issues, including U.S. fiscal policy and immigration reform.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

To view the complete event information, A live webcast will be available at


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Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,  

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.