W. Robert Pearson » People

TISS is an inclusive organization and welcomes all persons with an interest in informed discussion about national security events.  At its core are some fifty scholars and practitioners who are very active in the organization and are listed in the Directory.  Also noted in this section of the website are a number of groups and individuals who have played – and in most cases continue to play – a special role in the life of TISS.  These include our founders, Board Members (Past and Present), undergraduate scholars (Wickershams), graduate students who have participated in our New Faces program, and Fellows (Past and Present).

W. Robert Pearson

Photo of W. Robert Pearson
Non-resident scholar The Middle East InstituteU.S.-Turkey relations Cell Phone: 301-801-1962 Website: W. Robert Pearson

Ambassador (ret) W. Robert Pearson is a non-resident scholar at The Middle East Institute.  He focuses on Turkey with particular emphasis on U.S.-Turkey relations.  His areas of interest include Turkey’s relations with the EU, Russia, the Middle East, and Central and East Asia, in addition to the United States.

Amb. Pearson is a retired professional Foreign Service Officer who served as U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 2000 to 2003.  He was Director General of the U.S. Foreign Service from 2003 to 2006, repositioning the American Foreign Service to meet the new challenges of the 21st century and winning two national awards for his efforts.  He served from 2008 to 2014 as president of IREX, an international development NGO based in Washington, spearheading its expansion to reach more than 125 countries worldwide. He has published numerous articles, blogs and opinion pieces on diplomacy, foreign policy, Turkey, NGOs, and development.  He is a frequent speaker on issues concerning Turkey, international development and the role of diplomacy in American engagement abroad.


B.A. Vanderbilt University, J.D. University of Virginia School of Law

Country of Expertise: 

Issues of Expertise:
Security, Economics, Civil Society, Diplomacy and Foreign Relations