The World of Obama
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A panel of distinguished career diplomats explored topics ranging from the United States’ relations with China, North Korea, Iran and Israel, to emerging issues in Africa. The discussion marked the inaugural John Quincy Adams Foreign Affairs Distinguished Speaker Series, sponsored by the university and its Dr. Edward W. Minnock Center for International Engagement.
Ms. Kathleen Reddy-Smith, the university’s Diplomat-in-Residence, opened the program by introducing the panelists and other principal speakers, including retired Ambassador Lange Schermerhorn, who formerly represented the U.S. in the Republic of Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa; retired Ambassador Mary Ann Peters, who formerly represented the U.S. in Bangladesh and is currently provost of the Naval War College in Rhode Island; and Professor Emeritus Ibrahim Oweiss of Georgetown University, former first under-secretary for economic affairs in the Egyptian cabinet and later chief of the Egyptian mission to the United Nations.
Fred Clark, executive vice president and vice president for external affairs was also among the speakers as was F. Douglas Adams, a direct descendant of John Quincy Adams.
“This is the first in a series of events showcasing accomplished practitioners in the field of foreign affairs,” Ms. Reddy-Smith said. “We hope in this way to bring the ideas from Washington and around the world to here on the local level.”
She said the series was named in honor of John Quincy Adams because of the key role he had in founding the university, whose creation he, along with Horace Mann and Daniel Webster, championed.
Ms. Reddy-Smith said it was appropriate to use his name in connection with the speaker series because “he helped establish the United States in the global community,” and was a “son of Massachusetts and citizen of the world.”
Mr. Adams, whose father was President John Adams and whose mother was Abigail Adams, was in 1825 elected the sixth president of the nation. He was also a diplomat, secretary of state, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a member of the U.S. Senate.
Ms. Reddy-Smith, a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, served as moderator of the panel discussion.
Each of the panelists offered prepared remarks and then participated in a question-and-answer session with the audience. (Story and photo by David K. Wilson, '71, University Advancement)