HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> "Africa and the Middle East Advocacy Days"  -  Washington, DC  -  February 23-26, 2003
February 23-26, 2003
Africa and the Middle East
Advocacy Days

Washington, DC

Biographical Information


Middle East Track Speakers

Ziad J. Asali        Paul Scham        Philip C. Wilcox, Jr.

Ziad J. Asali, M.D.

Ziad J. Asali, M.D., is the President of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the largest Arab-American grassroots civil rights organization in the United States.  Dr. Asali is also the Chairman of the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ), which was founded in 1995 to develop and promote educational and informational activities on the heritage and future of Jerusalem.

Dr. Asali is a long-time activist on Arab-American issues.  He served as the President of the Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) from 1993-1994, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for the National Interest (CNI).  He has been a member of the Chairman's Council of ADC since 1982.

Dr. Asali has contributed and written for the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald and Daily Star.  He has provided television commentary and interviews for CNN, Hardball, MSNBC, FOX News, BBC, Voice of America and numerable syndicated cable programs.  Dr. Asali has also appeared on several Arabic television networks, including Al Jazeera, Nile TV, ART, Egyptian TV, Abu Dhabi TV and the Dubai satellite channel.  Newspaper interviews in Arabic include Al-Hayat, Al-Ahram, Al-Raii, Jordan Times and Akhbar Al-Arab.  In addition, he is a regular speaker at international conferences, Arab-American conventions, academic groups and community gatherings.

Asali is the author of several publications that include: "Coronary Artery Spasm Causing Myocardial Infarction" (1983), "Expedition to Jerusalem" (1990), "Zionist Studies of the Crusades" (1992) and "From Crusades to Zionism" (1993).

Dr. Asali is in continuous contact with high-ranking foreign policy makers, Middle East leaders and other officials in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Asali was born in Jerusalem, where he completed his elementary and secondary education.  He received a B.S. from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 1963 and an M.D. from AUB Medical School in 1967.  He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the Latter Day Saints Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Dr. Asali practiced medicine in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem before returning to the US in 1973.  Dr. Asali was the Medical Director, Laboratory Director, and Chairman of the Board at the Christian County Medical Clinic and St. Vincent Memorial Hospital in Taylorville, Illinois, until he retired in 2000.  He remains licensed to practice medicine in Illinois, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.  Dr. Asali has certifications from the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians.  He is a member of several medical societies such as the American Medical Association, the American Society of Internal Medicine and the American Academy of Medical Directors.

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), 4201 Connecticut Ave, N.W., Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20008, Tel. 202-244-2990, Fax, 202-244-3196, email:

Paul Scham

Paul Scham grew up in New York City, and was educated at Columbia, Princeton, and the University of California, where he received a law degree.  Not finding law to his liking, he became interested in Israel, and gradually in the Israeli-Arab conflict as a whole.  In 1989 he set up the Washington office of Americans for Peace Now and engaged in lobbying, advocacy and analysis on behalf of Americans who supported the Israeli peace movement.  

From 1996 until 2002 he worked on joint Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Jordanian academic and NGO projects at the Truman  Institute for Peace of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working intensively with Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University, Washington, DC, and engaged in editing a book on Israeli-Palestinian views of history.

Ambassador Philip C. Wilcox, Jr. (Ret.)

Philip C. Wilcox, Jr. is President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, a Washington D.C.-based foundation devoted to fostering peace between Israelis and Palestinians.  Wilcox retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in September 1997 after 31 years of service. 

Born in Denver, Colorado on February 1, 1937, Wilcox attended public schools, graduated from Williams College with a BA in History in 1958, and obtained an LL.B. from the Stanford Law School in 1961.  After law school, Wilcox taught school in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and practiced law for three years in Denver with the firm of Holme, Roberts & Owen.

Wilcox entered the Foreign Service in 1966 and has served abroad at U.S. Embassies as Press Attache in Vientiane, Laos, Political and Economic/Commercial Officer in Jakarta, Indonesia, and as Chief of the Economic/Commercial Section in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  His last overseas assignment was as Chief of Mission and U.S. Consul General, Jerusalem.

In the Department of State, Wilcox has served as Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for Management, Deputy Director for UN Political Affairs in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and in the Bureau for Middle Eastern and South Asian Affairs as Director for Regional Affairs, Director for Israeli and Arab-Israeli Affairs and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs.  He also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research and as Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Counter Terrorism.

After his retirement, Wilcox was appointed by the Secretary of State to serve as a member of an Accountability Review Board, chaired by Admiral William Crowe (ret.) to examine and make recommendations concerning the terrorist bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya on August 7, 1998.

Wilcox speaks French and Indonesian.  He is a graduate of the National War College, and has been awarded the Department of  State’s  Meritorious, Superior, and Presidential Honor Awards.  He is a board member of the Middle East Institute and Americans for Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) and a member of The Washington Institute for Foreign Affairs and Dacor-Bacon House.  He and his wife Cynda live in Bethesda, Maryland.

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