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Former U.S. ambassador and former director of World Food Program will lead symposium on America's role in the world

October 27, 2008

Jill Leonhardt
(315) 443-5492

Jill Leonhardt

Two members of the faculty from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, along with student representatives of the College Republicans and College Democrats, will discuss and debate "America's Role in the World" during a symposium on Tuesday, Oct. 28, beginning at 6 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Professors Catherine Bertini and Donald Planty will present the presidential candidates' views and proposals on a range of issues related to U.S. foreign policy and our nation's role in today's world. The two faculty members bring decades of real-world international experience to the event.

Prior to joining the Maxwell faculty, Bertini was United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management after serving for 10 years as executive director of the U.S. World Food Program, the largest humanitarian relief agency in the world. In addition to being a professor at the Maxwell School, Bertini serves as senior fellow for agricultural development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and has just been named co-chair of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Agricultural Development Project, which will propose recommendations to increase the productivity and incomes of small-holder farming families and advance global agricultural development as a major U.S. foreign aid priority.

Planty served as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service for more than 30 years and is an expert on Latin American affairs and European security issues. As U.S. ambassador to Guatemala from 1996-99, he helped to end the decades-long internal conflict between the government and the guerillas through a U.N. mediation process. From 1999-2001, he was executive director of Caribbean/Latin American Action (C/LAA), a nonprofit organization that promotes U.S. trade and investment in Latin America and the Caribbean. During his career in the U.S. State Department, Planty served in a variety of posts in the embassies of Chile, the Holy See in Rome, Mexico, Norway Panama and Spain.

Following the presentations, members of the College Republicans and College Democrats will debate the issues, and then Maxwell School Dean Mitchel Wallerstein will moderate a conversation with the audience. Wallerstein brings impressive credentials to the symposium as well. He served from 1993-97 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for counter- proliferation policy. More recently, he was vice president of the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation, directing the foundation's international grant-making program. Paid parking is available in the Irving Garage.

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