Ambassador Tom Pickering has been, since December 2006, Vice Chairman of Hills & Company, International Consultants. He retired as Senior Vice President International Relations and a member of the Executive Council of The Boeing Company on July 1, 2006 having served in the position for 5 and one half years. He was responsible for The Boeing Company's relations with foreign governments and the company's globalization. He joined the Company in January 2001 following his retirement as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
He held the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, he has served as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Pickering also served on assignments in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. From 1989 to 1992, he served as Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York. He also served as Executive Secretary of the Department of State and Special Assistant to Secretaries William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger from 1973 to 1974.
He received a bachelor's degree, cum laude, with high honors in history, from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1953. In 1954, he received a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Melbourne in Australia, and received a second master's degree in 1956. In 1984, he was awarded an honorary doctor-in-laws degree from Bowdoin College, and has received similar honors from 12 other universities.
In 1983 and in 1986, Ambassador Pickering won the Distinguished Presidential Award and, in 1996, the Department of State's highest award - the Distinguished Service Award. He is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations. He speaks French, Spanish, Swahili, Arabic and Hebrew.