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Last modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lee Hamilton to present inaugural talk in Global Perspectives Speaker Series at IU

Series is an initiative of the new School of Global and International Studies

Jan. 15, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Lee Hamilton, director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University and an important voice on international relations for more than 40 years, will present the inaugural talk in the Global Perspectives Speaker Series at Indiana University on Jan. 29.

The speaker series is an initiative of the new School of Global and International Studies in IU's College of Arts and Sciences. The theme of the series for the spring semester is "Coexistence and Conflict Mediation Across the Globe."

Hamilton's presentation, "Observations on Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building," will begin at 4 p.m. Jan. 29 in the State Room East of the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in State Room West.

Other events in the speaker series will include a March 7 presentation by Maya Jasanoff, professor of history at the Harvard University Center for European Studies; and Michael Guest, former U.S. ambassador to Romania, who will make two appearances April 4 and 5. Times and locations will be announced later.

"Lee Hamilton is the ideal choice to launch this exciting new series," said Larry Singell, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "He has served as a national leader in shaping foreign affairs policy in Congress and a voice of reason in some of the most heated debates over America's role in the world since 9/11. By bringing to campus a wide array of prominent public servants, scholars and activists, the Global Perspectives series seeks to embody the leadership qualities we aim to develop in our students."

Established last year, the IU School of Global and International Studies offers opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and research, providing students with the global competencies needed in the 21st century. It brings together the expertise of more than 350 core and affiliated faculty members from across the university. IU's 11 federally funded Title VI area studies centers, which represent the largest number of such centers anywhere in the U.S., also are associated with the school.

Building on the College's historic strengths in international and area studies and the social sciences, combined with IU's top-ranked professional schools, new degrees in the School of Global and International Studies will emphasize leadership and governance, health planning and policy, science and technology, development and assistance, and cultural diplomacy in a global context.

Since 1999, Hamilton has directed the Center on Congress at IU, a nonpartisan educational institution seeking to improve the public's understanding of Congress and to inspire young people and adults to take an active part in revitalizing representative government in America.

The center developed out of Hamilton's recognition during his 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives that the public should be more familiar with Congress' strengths and weaknesses, its role in our system of government, and its impact on the lives of ordinary people every day. Based on the IU Bloomington campus, it offers an extensive array of civic education resources and activities aimed at fostering an informed electorate that understands our system of government and participates in civic life.

From 1965 to 1999, Hamilton served Indiana in the U.S. House, where his chairmanships included the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions With Iran. He also was chairman of the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress and worked to promote integrity and efficiency in the institution.

Since retiring from Congress, Hamilton has been at the center of efforts to address some of our nation's highest-profile homeland security and foreign policy challenges. He was vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission. He also co-chaired, with former Secretary of State James A. Baker, the Iraq Study Group, which in 2006 made recommendations on U.S. policy options in Iraq.

He currently is a member of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, the President's Homeland Security Advisory Council, the CIA External Advisory Board and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Task Force on Preventing the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect on American Soil.

Until recently, he served as co-chairman, with former White House National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, of the U.S. Department of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.

He is the author of three books: "How Congress Works and Why You Should Care" (IU Press); "Strengthening Congress" (IU Press); and "A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress" (Woodrow Wilson Press). He co-authored with former Gov. Thomas Kean "Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission" (Knopf). He writes twice-monthly commentaries about Congress and what individuals can do to make representative democracy work better.

From 1999 through 2010, Hamilton was president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an institution in Washington, D.C., where scholars, policymakers and business leaders engage in comprehensive and nonpartisan dialogue on public policy issues.

He is a graduate of DePauw University and the IU Maurer School of Law.