Daniel C. Kurtzer

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Daniel Charles Kurtzer (born June 1949) is an American former diplomat. He served as U.S. ambassador to Egypt during the term of President Bill Clinton, and was the U.S. ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005 during the term of President George W Bush.


Daniel Charles Kurtzer was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey to Nathan and Sylvia Kurtzer. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, and served as the dean of his alma mater, Yeshiva College.

Diplomatic career[edit]

Kurtzer joined the United States Department of State and was serving as a junior officer at the American Embassy in Cairo when Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981. He served in Israel between 1982 to 1986, then became Deputy Director of the State Department's Egypt desk in Washington, D.C. He later served on the Policy Planning staff, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research. When asked why he was drawn to the Middle East, he later replied: "The work never seems to be finished in this region. It is not a place where tuxedos and cocktail parties characterize diplomacy."[1]

In 2006, he retired from the State Department and the U.S. Foreign Service with the rank of Career-Minister and assumed a chair in Middle East policy studies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.[2] In 2007, Kurtzer served as the commissioner of the Israel Baseball League.

He endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama's successful candidacy for the presidency.[3] Kurtzer, James Steinberg, and Dennis Ross were among the principal authors of Barack Obama’s address on the Middle East to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in June 2008, which was viewed as the Democratic nominee’s most expansive on international affairs.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://bellum.stanfordreview.org/?p=1840
  2. ^ Cliatt, Cass. "Former ambassador to Israel appointed visiting professor". News@Princeton. Retrieved November 14, 2006. 
  3. ^ [1], Ha'aretz[dead link]
  4. ^ Obama's Mideast Experts Emphasize Talks, Jay Solomon, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2008; Page A7

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Edward S. Walker, Jr.
U.S. Ambassador to Egypt
Succeeded by
C. David Welch
Preceded by
Martin Indyk
U.S. Ambassador to Israel
Succeeded by
Richard Jones
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Israel Baseball League Commissioner
Succeeded by