Morning Lecture Platform
Week Seven — August 4-10, 2013
Chautauqua focuses on international affairs this week with a series of lectures on the importance and practice of diplomacy. Frequent Chautauqua lecturer R. Nicholas Burns, formerly the third-ranking State Department official, opens the week with an introduction to and history of U.S. diplomatic efforts. Brookings Institution senior fellow Robert Kagan, author of The World America Made, offers remarks on the state of U.S. diplomacy and how the rest of the world relates to us on Tuesday. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland will lecture Wednesday from her experiences as NATO ambassador and in her current capacity, as the State Department’s “ambassador” to the public and the press. The Washington Institute’s Dennis Ross, a former special assistant to President Obama, closes the week on Friday with stories from the front lines of Middle East policymaking and peace negotiations.
Monday–Friday, August 5–9 @ 10:45 a.m.
Monday, August 5
R. Nicholas Burns
director, Future of Diplomacy Project, Harvard Kennedy School
former U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs
A 27-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, R. Nicholas Burns is professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, director of the Future of Diplomacy Project and faculty chair for the programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia.
As the State Department’s third-ranking official from 2005 to 2008, Burns led negotiations on the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, on a long-term military assistance agreement with Israel and on Iran’s nuclear program. Previously, he was U.S. ambassador to NATO and to Greece; State Department spokesman; the National Security Council’s senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia affairs and special assistant to President Bill Clinton; and director for Soviet affairs in the administration of President George H.W. Bush.
Burns is director of the Aspen Strategy Group, serves on the boards of several for-profit and nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service from The Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his master’s degree in international relations, and the Alumni Achievement Award from Boston College, where he earned a degree in history.
Tuesday, August 6
senior fellow in foreign policy, Center for United States and Europe, Brookings Institution
author, The World America Made
Robert Kagan is a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. He also serves as a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board and is co-chairman of the bipartisan Working Group on Egypt. Kagan previously served in the State Department from 1984 to 1988 as a member of the policy planning staff, principal speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz, and deputy for policy in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.
Kagan’s most recent book is The World America Made. He is also the author of Of Paradise and Power, The Return of History and the End of Dreams and Dangerous Nation, which won the 2008 Lepgold Prize and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize. A monthly columnnist on world affairs for The Washington Post, he is a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard and The New Republic.
Kagan was ranked No. 4 of “the 50 most powerful Republicans on foreign policy” by Foreign Policy, which also lists him, along with Prospect magazine, as one of America’s “Top 100 Public Intellectuals.” He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and holds a doctorate in American history from American University.
Friday, August 9
counselor, The Washington Institute
former senior director for the Central Region, National Security Council
Dennis Ross rejoined The Washington Institute as counselor in December 2011 after serving two years as special assistant to President Barack Obama as well as National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, focusing on Iran. He previously served the institute as Ziegler distinguished fellow and counselor.
For more than 12 years, Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. He was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also suc successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.
Ross has published extensively on the former Soviet Union, arms control and the greater Middle East, and has written several influential books on the peace process, most recently Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East, co-authored with David Makovsky. A graduate of UCLA, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decisionmaking.