The President today announced his intention to nominate Thomas R. Pickering, of New Jersey, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the personal rank of Career Ambassador, to be Ambassador to Israel. He would succeed Samuel W. Lewis.
Ambassador Pickering is currently serving as Ambassador to El Salvador. He entered the Foreign Service in 1959 as intelligence research specialist in the Department of State and was political officer (test ban treaty) in Geneva on detail to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in 1961-1964. He attended Swahili language training at the Foreign Service Institute in 1964-1965. In 1965-1967 he was principal officer in Zanzibar, and deputy chief of mission in Dar es Salaam in 1967-1969. In the Department of State, he was deputy director of the Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs (1969-1973) and special assistant to the Secretary of State and executive secretary of the Department (1973-1974). In 1974-1978 he was Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in the Department in 1978-1981. In 1981-1983 he was Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and from 1983 to the present, he has been our Ambassador to El Salvador.
Ambassador Pickering graduated from Bowdoin College (A.B., 1953), Fletcher School of Law (M.A., 1954), and the University of Melbourne (M.A., 1956). He served in the United States Navy in 1956-1959. He is married to the former Alice Jean Stover, and they have two children. He was born November 5, 1931, in Orange, NJ.