Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January-February 2010, Page 66

Waging Peace

CNI Cruises into a New Decade

(L-r) Congressman Paul Findley and Gene Bird welcome Helena Cobban, CNI’s new executive director. (Photo Michael Keating)

THE COUNCIL for the National Interest celebrated its 20th anniversary Nov. 17 in Washington, DC on a gala dinner cruise aboard the SS Odyssey. The event honored CNI co-founder Congressman Paul Findley (R-IL), who received a lifetime achievement award from Ambassador Ed Peck, the evening’s witty master of ceremonies. Findley delivered a rousing speech about the challenges the organization has faced over the years since he co-founded CNI along with Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-CA). John B. Anderson (R-IL), who ran as an Independent candidate in the 1980 presidential election, was CNI’s first executive director.

“This is a moment of reflection for me,” said Findley. “Twenty years ago I wondered if CNI could survive. Now I know it is going to survive. I hope it survives at least until Israel ceases to be a criminal state.”

Findley thanked CNI President Gene Bird and his wife, Jerri, for their diligence since 1993, when they joined CNI, and welcomed renowned author Helena Cobban as CNI’s new executive director.

Findley is a frequent contributor to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,, and his books, Silent No More, They Dare to Speak Out, and Deliberate Deceptions, are AET Book Club favorites. His latest book, a memoir, is due out in 2010.

Guests listened to reports and watched videos and PowerPoint presentations featuring photos taken during CNI’s latest 17-day-long “political pilgrimage” tour of Israel, Palestine and other countries, as well as a previous pilgrimage.

For more information about the Council for the National Interest visit CNI <www.cnionline.org>.

Delinda C. Hanley

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