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U.S. deputy secretary of state to speak at Maxwell on U.S. foreign policy priorities

March 28, 2012

Jill Leonhardt
(315) 443-5492

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will visit the Maxwell School on Friday, April 6, to give a talk on U.S. foreign policy priorities. The lecture, from 12:30-2 p.m., will be followed by an audience Q-and-A session.

Burns is among the U.S. government's most authoritative speakers on U.S. foreign policy. He serves as the principal deputy and adviser to the secretary of state, a position he has held since July 2011. He also holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service—career ambassador—and is only the second career diplomat in history to become deputy secretary. Burns served from 2008-2011 as under-secretary for political affairs. He was ambassador to Russia from 2005-2008, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from 2001-2005 and ambassador to Jordan from 1998-2001. Burns has also served in a number of other posts since entering the foreign service in 1982, including executive secretary of the state department and special assistant to secretaries Christopher and Albright; minister-counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; and special assistant to the president and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council staff.

Burns earned a B.A. in history from LaSalle University and M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in international relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. He is the author of “Economic Aid and American Policy Toward Egypt, 1955-1981” (State University of New York Press, 1985).

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