Chuck Hagel, Madeleine Albright to kick off new UChicago lecture series

Former Cabinet secretaries to discuss U.S. foreign policy at May 30 event

In an era defined by deepening political division, the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats is instituting an annual event to promote civil discourse—inviting two former Cabinet secretaries who once held front-row seats to international affairs.

On May 30, CPOST will inaugurate the Hagel Lectures, bringing together former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to discuss American foreign policy and its implications around the globe.

“It will be an opportunity to see American leaders from both sides of the aisle engaged in stimulating and enlightening conversation with the audience and each other,” said Prof. Robert Pape, a renowned expert on international security affairs research and director of CPOST at UChicago.

The lecture series grew out of conversations between Pape and Hagel, who agreed on the need to promote principled foreign policy and to unite the country around reasoned stances. Hagel, who will appear at the event every year, is a former Republican senator whom President Barack Obama appointed Secretary of Defense in 2013.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton, Albright was the first female Secretary of State in U.S. history, serving in that role from 1997 to 2001. She currently chairs the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, a non-profit founded in 1983 to help promote and strengthen democratic principles.

Both Hagel and Albright are known for their savvy perspective on international affairs and commitment to communicating with respect and intellectual vigor. In a panel moderated by Pape, the two former secretaries will discuss critical current issues, including immigration, international trade disputes and the threat of ISIS, as well as current policies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“CPOST is committed to closing the knowledge gap on new and emerging issues that impact the security and prosperity of our country as a whole,” Pape said. “Given new technology, our coasts do not insulate the middle of our country from outside forces and so it is appropriate to have a new center of social science research on international affairs in the heartland of America.”     

The event is open to the public and will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 30 at Mandel Hall. Register and learn more about the event here.

—Adapted from a story that first appeared on the Division of the Social Sciences website.