Binghamton alum to speak to Harpur Forum on the US Middle East Policy
Charles Kestenbaum, director of business development at Diligence Middle East LLC, a global commercial intelligence and risk management consultancy operating in Iraq, will speak on “US Policy in the Middle East: Can We Succeed?,” at the Harpur Forum breakfast on Thursday, March 30, at the Binghamton Club in downtown Binghamton. The breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program begins at 8 a.m.
Kestenbaum graduated from Binghamton University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Studies, before moving on to receive his master’s degree in mass communications from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Subsequently, he worked as a television and radio journalist in Cairo and Beirut for NBC News covering the Lebanese Civil War.
In 1979, Kestenbaum began a 24-year career with the US Department of Commerce, initially as an international travel specialist working on US-Middle East issues and then as Country Officer for Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
In 1981, Kestenbaum entered the Foreign Commercial Service where he served tours at several US embassies, supervised the Rebuild Kuwait effort after the 1991 Desert Storm campaign and also served a tour as Commercial Liason Director in the Office of the US Executive Director at the World Bank.
Since his retirement from the Foreign Commercial Service, Kestenbaum has been working in the private sector as a Middle East business consultant, including extended periods in Baghdad with a full service security group.
The Harpur Forum serves business, professional and community leaders by bringing nationally known authorities to speak at functions throughout the year.