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Ambassador Theodore Kattouf to Speak on Syria and the Middle East

Ambassador Theodore Kattouf, the first speaker of Washington and Lee’s 2016-18 Center for International Educational Colloquium on “Borders and Their Human Impact,” will give a lecture on Sept. 14 at 5:15 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

His talk is free and open to the public. The title of the lecture is “Syria: A Case Study in the Forces Roiling the Middle East.”

This two-year colloquium, organized by the Center for International Education and sponsored by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, succeeds the 2015-16 Colloquium on Human Rights in Africa.

In the academic years 2016-2018, W&L’s faculty and students will engage in a discussion of the diverse visions of borders in classes throughout the arts, sciences and law and will welcome and engage guests who will address borders from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives.

“Borders—political, physical, linguistic, spiritual—constantly impact and define our lives, our politics and our identities,” said Mark Rush, the Waxburg Professor of Politics and director of International Education at W&L. “In selecting this topic, the Faculty Global Liaisons agreed that it is an ideal topic for the Mellon Interdisciplinary Seminar that will bring our faculty, students and community together from across the disciplines in a series of thought-provoking lectures.”

Kattouf is a leading expert on Syria and also president and CEO of AMIDEAST (America-MidEast Educational and Training Services, Inc.).

His career in the Foreign Service took him to Kuwait, Damascus and Baghdad. In 1982-83, he was a State Department mid-career fellow at Princeton University. He served as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and ambassador to Syria under Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush.

Kattouf has received the Cobb Award for outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. companies abroad, two Meritorious Honor Awards, four Senior Performance Awards and one Presidential Honor Award. He was also named runner-up as DCM of the Year for 1996.

Confirmed speakers for Fall 2016, in addition to Kattouf, are:

  • 9/22 – Jimmy Baca, American Poet and Screenwriter, “Never Give Up,” Center for Global Learning Atrium, 7 p.m.
  •  10/25 – David Sugerman, U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, “From the Colonnade to the CDC:  A Career in Public Health,” Science Addition 214, 5:30 p.m.
  • 11/3 – David Farrell, Department of Political Science, University College, Dublin, “Brexit and the Crisis of Democracy in Europe,” venue and time TBD
  • 11/29 – Judith Baca, UCLA Department of Chicana/o Studies, Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), “Imagining America: Sites of Public Memory,” Concert Hall, Wilson Hall, 5:30 p.m.
  • 12/1 – Ricardo Dominguez, U.C. San Diego Department of Visual Arts, The Electronic Disturbance Theater, “Disturbance Gestures: Art between the Lines,” Hillel 101, time TBD