Ambassador Dennis Ross Exchanges ASM for Obama

Thanks to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, Andover students this week enjoyed a free Wednesday morning. Former Ambassador Dennis Ross was unable to speak at this week’s All-School Meeting because Obama requested Ross’s attendance for an event in Virginia. Although Ross was unable to speak at this week’s All-School Meeting, many efforts are being made to find a suitable time to bring him on campus sometime in the future, according to Carlos Hoyt, Associate Dean of Students. “The ambassador’s office has been very apologetic and cooperative in terms of finding alternate dates. Currently, we are working through several tentative dates,” said Hoyt. Hoyt said that if Ross is able to come to campus, he will likely speak outside of the All-School Meeting time slot. “The maximum speaking time an All-School Meeting speaker can have is around half an hour,” said Hoyt. “However, if we have Ambassador Ross speak on a Friday or Saturday night, we can extend that time to an hour or an hour and a half. Furthermore, most All-School Meeting slots for the rest of the year are already filled.” Ross was a major negotiator in the Middle East under both the H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He was brought to campus to share his unique perspective and experiences in the Middle East. Ross has worked in the Washington Institute for Near East Policy for the past 12 years and also works as an analyst for FOX News Channel. Ross is also a foreign policy advisor to Obama. Daniah Missmar ’09 and Emma Goldstein ’09 decided to apply for an Abbot Grant to bring Ross to campus shortly after Missmar’s CAMD scholar presentation on Arab views on the western world. In her research, Missmar discovered that many students on campus know little about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “Emma and I were interested in educating the Andover community about this conflict. We thought that Ambassador Dennis Ross was a suitable person to bring on campus,” Missmar said. She continued, “When the Ambassador comes on campus, we will hold a forum afterwards composed of students both on and off campus.”