Gary Grappo

Gary Grappo is a former US ambassador and a distinguished fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver. He possesses nearly 40 years of diplomatic and public policy experience in a variety of public, private and nonprofit endeavors. As a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the US Department of State, he served as Envoy and Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet Representative, the Honorable Mr. Tony Blair, in Jerusalem. Grappo held a number of senior positions in the US State Department, including Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad; US Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From 2011-13, he was President and CEO of The Keystone Center. He currently serves as CEO of Equilibrium International Consulting, providing analysis and policy guidance on foreign affairs to businesses, institutions and the media. Grappo is chairman of the Board of Directors at Fair Observer.

The Role of Foreign Policy in the US Election

Oct 13, 2020

It has become cliché to assert that unless their country is at war, Americans pay scant attention to foreign policy in their presidential elections. On the whole — and assuming a candidate isn’t seen as a warmonger, an accusation made of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater in his loss to incumbent...

Israel-UAE Deal: Arab States Are Tired of Waiting on Palestine

Aug 14, 2020

The August 13 announcement of normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates breaks the quarter-century standstill in Arab-Israeli relations and shows that Arab states will no longer hold their interests hostage to the long-dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. President Donald Trump made the announcement of the establishment of relations...

Was the First Gulf War the Last Triumph of Multilateralism?

Aug 04, 2020

This week marks the 30th anniversary of Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait. Desperate to pay off his nation’s seemingly insurmountable debt, acquired as a result of his invasion of and the futile 8-year war with Iran that had just ended, Saddam Hussein saw oil-rich Kuwait as the solution. Iraq...

Student Visa Debacle: All One Needs to Know About Trump's Presidency

Jul 16, 2020

Let’s assume you had decided that American politics in the age of Donald Trump was simply too much, a risk of non-stop heartburn, high blood pressure and elevated angst. So, you checked out, perhaps burying yourself in literature or art, binging on TV or simply retreating somewhere off the grid....

Racism in America Leaves Its Soft Power Greatly Weakened

Jun 08, 2020

The horrific killing of an unarmed African American man, George Floyd, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers late last month and the ensuing demonstrations and riots across the country provide a stark and hardly compelling backdrop to the US administration’s attempt to employ America’s unique soft power by vigorously...

Can the Saudi Call for Ceasefire in Yemen Work?

Apr 13, 2020

On April 9, the government of Saudi Arabia unilaterally called for a two-week ceasefire in the five-year conflict that has ravaged Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest nation. The UN, the European Union and the US Congress have long called for a suspension of hostilities and a return to the negotiating table. In June...

As President, Donald Trump Has a Duty

Apr 08, 2020

In a recent press briefing, US President Donald Trump was asked why he hadn’t ordered the federal government to do more to respond to the pleas of state governors for more help in fighting the coronavirus pandemic now ravaging some of their states and exhausting their limited resources. His reply was stunning....

One Antidote to Coronavirus: More Multilateralism

Mar 30, 2020

With nearly every government and populace around the world now mobilized to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the sort of broad-based international coordination often seen in previous global crises remains glaringly absent, and it’s holding us back from a solution. The reasons for this lack of overarching collaboration and coordination may...

With Trump’s Peace Plan on the Table, Palestinians Face an Existential Decision

Jan 31, 2020

Following President Donald Trump’s long-awaited unveiling of his “deal of the century” Middle East peace plan on January 28, the Palestinians now confront an existential moment: find a way to make it work or begin wrestling with how to accommodate a single state. The optics of Trump’s announcement ceremony said...

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