Former Secretaries of State Kissinger, Baker, Christopher and Albright to discuss current foreign policy issues at roundtable

Friday, February 29, 2008

Writer: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. - On March 27, four former U.S. secretaries of state will be in Athens to discuss current U.S. foreign policy issues with the goal of providing direction and counsel to the next presidential administration.

Sponsored by the University of Georgia School of Law's Dean Rusk Center and the Southern Center for International Studies, the two-hour roundtable discussion, titled "The Report of the Secretaries of State: Bipartisan Advice to the Next Administration," will feature Henry Kissinger, James Baker III, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright. Newscaster Terence Smith of "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" will moderate the event. Topics will include foreign policy issues such as: stabilizing Iraq, the Middle East peace talks, Al Qaeda and militant Islam, immigration reform, environmental initiatives, U.S. energy security, America's image abroad, the balancing of economic interests and human rights, free trade agreements, and future dealings with Iran, Pakistan, Canada, Russia and China, among other topics.

"This 16th Report of the Secretaries of State conference will feature two secretaries who served Republican presidents and two who served Democratic presidents," Southern Center for International Studies President Peter C. White said. "This fact gives this forum a unique balanced, bipartisan perspective. Also, this conference comes at a very complex time in world history, and one of the primary objectives of this meeting is to offer insightful advice to the new administration on future foreign policy initiatives."

Ambassador C. Donald Johnson, the director of the Dean Rusk Center, said, "The Report of the Secretaries of State offers a great opportunity to gain insight from major figures in the world of international relations. Given the current highly engaging and intense political climate, this forum is very timely."

The School of Law's Dean Rusk Center is partnering with the Southern Center for International Studies to bring these high profile foreign policy experts to Athens to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Dean Rusk Center, which bears the name of the late School of Law faculty member who served as secretary of state for both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk participated in several of these Report of the Secretaries of State sessions while teaching at the School of Law for nearly 25 years.

Tickets are available from the Classic Center at 800-864-4160 or ClassicCenter.com. Tickets will be required for entry. Ticket cost is $10 for members of the general public. UGA faculty, staff and students can obtain their tickets in advance for free by showing a UGA ID. All tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. The doors will open at 9:30 a.m., and the two-hour roundtable will begin at 10:30 a.m. Attendees should be seated by 10:15 a.m.

Additionally, on Wednesday, March 26, the Southern Center for International Studies will host a black-tie optional reception and dinner for the former secretaries of state at the InterContinental Hotel in Atlanta . Tickets cost $150 for SCIS members and $175 for non-members. The reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. Reservations and advance payment are required. More information about the dinner is available at www.southerncenter.org .

For more information regarding the conference in general, please visit http://www.uga.edu/ruskcenter/announcements.html .

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NOTE FOR EDITORS: If you are planning to cover this event, please contact the law school's Heidi Murphy at 706-542-5172 or hmurphy@uga.edu for registration and guidelines. High resolution photos of the secretaries can be found at:
http://www.law.uga.edu/intl/sos/albright.jpg
http://www.law.uga.edu/intl/sos/baker.jpg
http://www.law.uga.edu/intl/sos/christopher.jpg
http://www.law.uga.edu/intl/sos/kissinger.jpg