Hal Saunders

I want to say a few memorial words about my Foreign Service colleague Hal Saunders, who passed away a few days ago. We specialized in different geographic regions during our respective careers. He was a Middle East specialist. I concentrated on Africa.  For that reason, we did not have lunch very often. But we knew each other and respected each other. Hal was the quintessential American diplomat. He did not make a lot of headlines, but he quietly advised Secretaries of State and US Presidents. I would say that Hal was the key policy adviser on the Middle East during the period 1980 to 1995. His advice was wise. American interests in the region were well served. The Middle East is generally a source of frustration for American diplomats. Hal lived through some of the most troubling periods. At all times, his advice to policy makers was sound and advantageous to US interests. He is a role model for generations that will follow.