Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, former Secretary of Defense to discuss invasion of Ukraine

Prof. Robert Pape to moderate March 24 event with Michael McFaul and Chuck Hagel

More than one year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, questions continue to loom around democratic stability in the region. As part of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats’ annual Hagel Lecture series, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will explore the uncertainty, using their combined expertise.

The lecture, titled “Ukraine, Russia and the Future of the Liberal Order,” will be moderated by Prof. Robert A. Pape and held at 5:30 p.m. March 24 at the University of Chicago’s Rubenstein Forum.

“This year’s event with Ambassador McFaul and Secretary Hagel will offer discussion and insights informed by years of distinguished public service, deep knowledge of the issues at play, and engagement with global figures—including when Russia seized Crimea,” said Pape, the director of CPOST and a renowned expert in international security affairs.

“As with the 2019 event with Secretary Madeleine Albright, I am pleased the CPOST can bring this convening to the UChicago community, and more broadly, to the public seeking to better understand the forces shaping the world in which we live.”

McFaul brings extensive international affairs experience to the conversation, having spent five years in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House from 2009 to 2012, and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2012-14. At Stanford university, McFaul is the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies in Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He’s also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post, and author of several books — including From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia. 

Hagel, who served as defense secretary from 2013 to 2015, is the only Vietnam veteran to serve in this role. He also served two terms as Nebraska’s senator (1997-2009), during which he was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees, and also chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee, among others. He was a distinguished professor at Georgetown University, co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, chairman of the Atlantic Council, and a member of the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board. He is the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter.

RSVP for the in-person event here.