Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria to speak at Fairfield University


Image: Fareed ZakariaNewsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria, considered one of the most influential foreign policy advisers in the world, will deliver "Global Terrorism and the Future of the Middle East" on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Zakaria's talk is part of Open VISIONS Forum, a program of University College.

As editor of Newsweek International, Zakaria reaches an audience of 3.5 million readers in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America. He writes a column that appears in Newsweek and Newsweek International and, often, for The Washington Post, making his one of the most widely circulated columns of its kind in the world. In addition, Zakaria is the author of "The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad" (Norton & Co., 2003) and "From Wealth to Power" (Princeton University Press, 1998), a provocative look at America's role in global political trends.

India-born and Harvard-educated, Zakaria is one of the most respected voices on the international scene, often called upon as a political analyst for television's "Charlie Rose," "Firing Line," "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," "The McLaughlin Group," "BBC World News" and "Meet the Press." He is a regular member of the roundtable on ABC's "This Week," and was named "one of the 21 most important people of the 21st century" by Esquire magazine.

"No one should ever doubt Mr. Zakaria's sense of history, or his desire to be part of it," wrote New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller in a 1999 article.

Zakaria grew up Muslim in Bombay, the son of Rafiq Zakaria, a deputy leader of the ruling Congress Party under Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, and Fatma Zakaria, the Sunday editor of The Times of India. His days were spent attaining a classical English education at the prestigious Cathedral School and, in the evenings, he'd return to a home bustling with artists, politicians, authors and poets.

While many educated as he was might develop an affinity for England, Zakaria attended Yale University and fell in love with the United States.

"I found myself, at a fairly young age, intellectually more at home in the West," he told The New York Times, separating the United States from Europe. "You can't penetrate English culture - you can admire it. Whereas in America, there's absolutely no sense of that."

Zakaria thrived in American academia, receiving a doctorate in International Relations from Harvard University, and in 1992, at just 28, he became the youngest managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a leading journal of international politics and economics. He held the post through 2000.

In addition to his work for Newsweek, Zakaria has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker, and he was the wine columnist for the Internet magazine Slate. His efforts have not gone unnoticed: He has won numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award, the National Press Club's Edwin Hood Award, the Deadline Club Award for Best Columnist and a lifetime achievement award from the South Asian Journalists Association.

Zakaria sees himself as walking a line through the complicated world of U.S. politics. He says he favors moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats and has hinted at an interest in joining in the fray á la Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, two other immigrants who became respected presidential advisers.

Others have toyed with the idea as well. President George W. Bush's chief foreign policy adviser Condoleezza Rice has called Zakaria "intelligent about just about every area of the world" and Leslie H. Gelb, president of the Council of Foreign Relations, is fond of considering Zakaria's political potential.

"I don't think anyone ever imagined that in the next decade or so there could be a national security adviser from India," Gelb told the New York Times. "This is in the realm of possibility."

Tickets are $22, with discounts for students and senior citizens. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 27, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 165