Speaker Bios

Dr. Michele J. Gelfand


Michele J. Gelfand is Professor of Psychology and Distinguished University Scholar Teacher at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Gelfand's work explores cultural influences on conflict, negotiation, justice, and revenge; workplace diversity and discrimination; and theory and methods in cross-cultural psychology. Her work has been published in outlets such as Science, the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and the Annual Review of Psychology. She is the co-editor of The Handbook of Negotiation and Culture (with Jeanne Brett, Stanford University Press) and The Psychology of Conflict and Conflict Management in Organizations (with Carsten De Dreu, Erlbaum) and is the founding co-editor of the Advances in Culture and Psychology series and Frontiers of Culture and Psychology series (with CY Chiu and Ying-Yi Hong, Oxford University Press). She serves on numerous editorial boards in social and organizational psychology, is a past Associate Editor of Applied Psychology: An International Review and is currently an Associate Editor of Social Psychology and Personality Science.

Michele received the Ernest J. McCormick Award for Early Career Contributions from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the LL Cummings Scholar Award from the Organizational Behavior of the Academy of Management. She is the Past President of the International Association of Conflict Management, is Past Division Chair of the Conflict Management Division of the Academy of Management, and Past Treasurer of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. She is currently the PI on a multi-university research initiative to study culture and negotiation in the Middle East. She teaches courses on negotiation, diversity, and cross-cultural management.

Dr. Shibley Telhami


Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, College Park, and non-resident senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. Before coming to the University of Maryland, he taught at several universities, including Cornell University, the Ohio State University, the University of Southern California, Princeton University, Columbia University, Swarthmore College, and the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his doctorate in political science.

Professor Telhami has also been active in the foreign policy arena. He has served as Advisor to the US Mission to the UN (1990-91), as advisor to former Congressman Lee Hamilton, more recently as senior advisor to George Mitchell, President Obama’s United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace (2009-2011) and as a member of the US delegation to the Trilateral US-Israeli-Palestinian Anti-Incitement Committee, which was mandated by the Wye River Agreements and has served as an advisor to the United States Department of State. He also served on the Iraq Study Group as a member of the Strategic Environment Working Group. He has contributed to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times and regularly appears on national and international radio and television. He has served on the US Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim World, which was appointed by the Department of State at the request of Congress, and he co-drafted the report of their findings, Changing Minds, Winning Peace. He has also co-drafted several Council on Foreign Relations reports on: US public diplomacy; the Arab-Israeli peace process, and; Persian Gulf security.

His best-selling book, The Stakes: America and the Middle East (Westview Press, 2003; updated version, 2004) was selected by Foreign Affairs as one of the top five books on the Middle East in 2003. His other publications include Power and Leadership in International Bargaining: The Path to the Camp David Accords (1990); International Organizations and Ethnic Conflict, ed. with Milton Esman (1995); Identity and Foreign Policy in the Middle East, ed. with Michael Barnett (2002), The Sadat Lectures: Words and Images on Peace, 1997-2008, ed. (2010), The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011, co-authored with Dan Kurtzer, et al. (2013), The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East (2013) and numerous articles on international politics and Middle Eastern affairs. He has been a principal investigator in the annual Arab Public Opinion Survey, conducted since 2002 in six Arab countries.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the Education for Employment Foundation, several academic advisory boards, and has served on the board of Human Rights Watch (and as Chair of Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch/Middle East). He has also served on the board of the United States Institute of Peace. Professor Telhami was given the Distinguished International Service Award by the University of Maryland in 2002 and the Excellence in Public Service Award by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents in 2006. He was selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York with the New York Times as one of the "Great Immigrants" for 2013.

Ambassador Edward S. Walker Jr.


Ambassador Edward (Ned) Walker is a professor of government at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York concentrating on foreign policy and the Middle East. Until the summer of 2006, Ambassador Walker was the president and chief executive officer of the Middle East Institute, a non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC. Before assuming this position in 2001, Walker worked for five months in the first George W. Bush administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, a position he had previously held during the second Clinton Administration. His diplomatic career included an early assignment as Chief of the Political Section in Damascus. In successive years (1984-1999) he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, and as Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt, and then Ambassador to Israel. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Hamilton College and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Boston University. He has studied both Arabic and Hebrew and has a reading knowledge of French. He is the recipient of various US Government and other honors including distinguished honor awards from the Pentagon and the State Department.