November 18, 2013
Analyst and Former Journalist to Assist U.S. Negotiations Team
David Makovsky, a senior fellow at The Washington Institute and a world-renowned expert on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, has joined the State Department as senior advisor to the special Middle East envoy, the research organization announced today.
Mr. Makovsky, who will be on leave from his position as the Institute's Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and director of its Project on the Middle East Peace Process during his appointment in government, will provide strategy to the U.S. team responsible for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
"While we are saddened to lose David, we are proud that he will play this critical role in U.S. policymaking," said Executive Director Robert Satloff. "We are confident that David will enrich the U.S. government's diplomatic efforts to promote Middle East peace with the same creativity and wisdom that have made him a pivotal member of the Institute research team and a trusted resource to decisionmakers in Washington and throughout the region."
Makovsky's analysis of sensitive issues has earned the respect of officials on all sides of the Arab-Israel equation, giving him unique access to leaders across the region. He is the author of numerous Washington Institute publications on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process, including Imagining the Border: Options for Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Territorial Issue (2011) and A Defensible Fence: Fighting Terror and Enabling a Two-State Solution (2004). He is also coauthor, with Dennis Ross, of the 2009 Washington Post bestseller Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking/Penguin). His widely acclaimed September 2012 New Yorker essay, "The Silent Strike," focused on U.S.-Israel dynamics leading up to the 2007 Israeli attack on Syrian nuclear facilities.
As a journalist, Mr. Makovsky was an intimate observer of the peace process from the Palestinian uprising in the late 1980s until the Camp David peace summit in 2000, serving as the executive editor of the Jerusalem Post and diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz. A former contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report, he served for eleven years as that magazine's special Jerusalem correspondent. He was awarded the National Press Club's 1994 Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence for a cover story on PLO finances that he cowrote for the magazine.
In July 1994, thanks to the personal intervention of Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Mr. Makovsky became the first journalist writing for an Israeli publication to visit Damascus. In total, he has made five trips to Syria, the most recent in December 1999 when he accompanied then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In March 1995, with assistance from U.S. officials, Mr. Makovsky was given unprecedented permission to file reports from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for an Israeli publication.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Makovsky received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a master's degree in Middle East studies from Harvard University.
About the Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.