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Ziad J. Asali, M.D., is the President and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, a 501(c) 3 non-profit, non-partisan organization established in 2003 and based in Washington, DC.
Dr. Asali is a long-time activist on Middle East issues. He has been a member of the Chairman's Council of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) since 1982, and has served as ADC’s President from 2001-2003. He served as the President of the Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) from 1993-1995, and was Chairman of the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ), which he co-founded, from 1995-2003.
He has contributed and written for a variety of both domestic and international newspapers including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Daily Star. He has provided television commentary and interviews for CNN, CBS, Charlie Rose, MSNBC, FOX News, BBC, C-Span, Voice of America and numerous syndicated cable programs. Dr. Asali has also appeared on several Arabic television networks, and his opinions have appeared in newspapers throughout the Arab World. In addition, he is a regular speaker at academic centers and international conferences about the Middle East.
Dr. Asali was born in Jerusalem, where he completed his elementary and secondary education. He received an M.D. from the American University of Beirut (AUB) Medical School in 1967. He completed his residency in Salt Lake City, Utah, and then practiced medicine in Jerusalem before returning to the US in 1973. Dr. Asali was the Medical Director and Chairman of the Board at the Christian County Medical Clinic in Taylorville, Illinois and he served as Chairman of the Board of Physicians Health Association of Illinois before he retired in 2000. He is a Diplomat of the Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Asali has testified before the Senate on the issue of Palestinian education, and before the full U.S. House Committee on International Relations on the topic of “The Way Forward in the Middle East Peace Process.” He served as a member of the United States official delegation to the funeral of Chairman Yasser Arafat and as a member of the United States official delegation to observe the Palestinian Presidential elections in January 2005. He also was a delegate with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to monitor the Palestinian Legislative election in January 2006.
In August 2007 Dr. Asali traveled with Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes to Palestine as a member of the official delegation of the U.S. Department of State to monitor the launch of the Middle East Investment Initiative Program. On December 3rd, 2007, he was appointed co-chair of the U.S. Public-Private Partnership, an initiative launched by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to promote economic and educational opportunities for the Palestinian people. In May 2008 he served as a member of the U.S. Presidential delegation to the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem. Dr. Asali is also a member of the bipartisan and interfaith Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement.
Dr. Asali's leadership extends to other initiatives and non-partisan organizations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Investment Initiative. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of A Different Future as well as a member of the Trustees Advisory Council of OneVoice.
Dr. Asali is also founder and Chairman of the American Charities for Palestine (ACP). In August 2008 the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ACP initiating a partnership to help harness the generosity of the American people to help meet Palestinian humanitarian needs.
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