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Jim Pickup is President and CEO of the Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII) and General Counsel of the Aspen Institute. Building on the conviction that a sound economic base is one clear path to social and political stability, MEII is a non-profit organization that designs and implements innovative development finance and technical assistance programs in the Middle East and North Africa in order to facilitate economic opportunities and sustainable job creation. At the Aspen Institute, Jim serves as the organization's primary attorney. From 1997-2013, Jim was an associate and partner at DLA Piper, an international law firm, where his practice focused on federal law and policy and international development. In 2000 and 2001, Jim served as Senator George Mitchell's representative when the Senator chaired the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, an international committee established to examine the crisis between the Israelis and Palestinians and make recommendations to prevent its recurrence. He played a significant role in the committee's activities and the drafting of its report, which has become known as the Mitchell Plan. Immediately before joining DLA Piper, Jim worked for five years as a congressional aide and Budget Committee associate. Jim graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, received a Master in International Affairs degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and graduated with honors (M.A. hons.) from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is a 2005 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.