Former U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to speak at Fairfield University


Image: Richard HolbrookeRichard Holbrooke, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will speak at Fairfield University on Monday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m., when Open VISIONS and the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Judaic Studies present the fourth annual Jacoby-Lunin Humanitarian Lectureship, "Humanitarian Challenges to World Diplomancy Past, Present and Future."

Holbrooke most recently served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, where he was also a member of President Clinton's cabinet, from 1999 to 2001. In that capacity and in other positions, he played a vital role in the development of U.S. policy toward the United Nations, the Balkans, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and humanitarian crisis issues such as AIDS.

Hailed by The New York Times as a "master of impossible missions," Holbrooke is a diplomat with real-world corporate understanding, who defines the art of negotiation in both business and diplomatic settings.

Holbrooke secured his reputation as the world's premier negotiator by arranging an unprecedented agreement, bringing the United States back into good standing with the United Nations. He simultaneously persuaded United Nations' members to reduce America's share of dues and assessments, persuaded the U.S. Congress to release $582 million in unpaid U.N. assessments and enlisted the aid of Ted Turner to ante up the balance of U.N. dues.

As Assistant Secretary of State for Europe from 1994 to 1996, Holbrooke was the chief architect of the 1995 Dayton peace agreement that ended the war in Bosnia. He received numerous awards for this, including five Nobel Peace Prize nominations. His best-selling account of that historic negotiation, To End A War, was named one of the ten best books of 1998 by The New York Times.

From 1993 to 1994, Holbrooke was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, and during the Carter Administration, 1977 to 1981, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

In addition to his long career in diplomatic service, Holbrooke's experience includes stints as vice chairman of CS First Boston and as managing director of Lehman Brothers.

Holbrooke, who authored two books and numerous articles, has received 12 honorary degrees and several awards. He is a Counselor at the Council on Foreign Relations and President and CEO of the Global Business Council, the business alliance against HIV/AIDS. He is Vice Chairman of Perseus, a leading private equity firm.

The lecture, which will take place in the University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, is sponsored by the Frank Jacoby Foundation. Frank Jacoby, a Jewish immigrant from Hungary, found his way to Bridgeport, Conn., where he became a successful businessman. Recognizing that people were treated unfairly due to their race, religion or creed, he founded the lecture series bearing his name to promote the cause of humanity.

The first lecture was in 1951, and some of the early speakers included Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Bunch and Martin Luther King, Jr. Jacoby's son-in-law, Arthur Lunin, guided the lectureship until his death in 1999. Now known as the Jacoby-Lunin Lectureship, the endowed series is in its fourth year at Fairfield University. Last year's speaker was Walter Turnbull, Ph.D., founder and director of the Boys Choir of Harlem.

The Open VISIONS Forum, a program of Fairfield University's School of Continuing Education, is sponsored in part by Virgin Atlantic Airways. Those interested in becoming a patron, with priority ticketing, should contact Elizabeth Hastings at Open VISIONS at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688. Tickets are $15 with discounts available for seniors, students and groups. For tickets and information, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll-free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

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

Posted on October 1, 2001

Vol. 34, No. 84