April 10 Program
Ambassador Molly Williamson, U.S. Department of State (retired)
“The Geopolitics of Oil”
Molly Williamson speaks extensively on energy, economic and demographic factors affecting foreign policy formulation, US-Middle East relations, especially the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iran and nuclear challenges, and the interagency process. She is a scholar with the Middle East Institute, a consultant, and frequent guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University, World Affairs Councils, and National Joint Staff College.
Williamson is a former Foreign Service Officer, having served six presidents, achieving the rank of Career Minister. She is also a member of Georgetown University’s MSFS oral boards, a Board member of the American Foreign Service Association, Board member of the International Executive Service Corps, and Board member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Williamson was the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy (2005-2008), with global responsibilities at the nexus of foreign policy and energy policy. When Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce (1999-2004), Williamson was responsible for the Middle East, South Asia, Oceania and Africa, advancing trade relations with 86 countries with a trade portfolio valued at over $120 billion/year.
Williamson was Principal Deputy, then Acting Assistant Secretary of State (1996-1999), International Organizations Bureau, responsible for the policy and programs affecting UN political and Security Council matters, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, (1993-1995) Williamson was responsible for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. She was engaged in operational defense structure bottom-up reviews, the policy challenges of Iraqi provocations, crises in Rwanda and Somalia, and nuclear tests in South Asia.
She has had numerous postings in the Middle East, including interim ambassador to Bahrain, as well as Chief of Mission and Consul General in Jerusalem during the Madrid Peace Process (1991-93) which culminated in the Oslo Accords.
She has been trained in both Hebrew and Arabic.
Williamson, a native of California, has been awarded 2 Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, the Secretary of Energy’s Exceptional Service Award, Secretary of Commerce Performance Award, the Secretary of Defense’ Service Award, and 14 awards from the Department of State.