Ralph Bunche was a black-American official of the United Nations, honored for his mediation of the 1948-1949 Arab-Israeli War with the 1950 Nobel Prize. During his long tenure on the faculty of Howard University, he was for two years chief assistant to the Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal in his study of American blacks. Bunche served during World War II in the Office of Strategic Services, and in 1944 joined the State Department. He was the first African American to head a division of that department. He joined the U.N. staff in 1946, was appointed the following year to the Palestine Commission, and one year later became chief mediator in the Palestine conflict. Later a U.N. under secretary, he directed the U.N. peace-keeping forces at Suez in 1956, in the Congo in 1960, and in Cyprus in 1964.