Nashville, Tennessee – October 28, 2010 – How ready is the United States to deal with its many global challenges through the exercise of diplomacy? That’s the question being posed at a town hall meeting on America’s “Foreign Affairs for the Future,” featuring U.S. Ambassador George Staples. The program, hosted by Belmont University and the Tennessee World Affairs Council, is set for 6:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at the Inman Building on campus.
America’s foreign affairs challenges are filling a growing to-do list: Middle East peace, nuclear weapons proliferation, rising China, failing states, Islamic extremism, economic turmoil, climate change conventions, energy security and much more. Responding to these global issues, most posing significant threats to American security and prosperity, requires not only a strong military and economic capability but also a robust diplomatic capacity. Is the United States Foreign Service equipped to meet these demands? That’s the question taken up by Ambassador Staples who has served in the State Department as Director of the U.S. Foreign Service as well as America’s top diplomat in several international capitals.
Staples served a 25-year Foreign Service career and is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, or AAD, which works to improve the quality of diplomatic representation aboard. As part of that mission, the AAD undertook a major study to determine what is needed “to enable the State Department and the Foreign Service to accomplish their missions in classic diplomacy, public diplomacy, development diplomacy, and reconstruction and stabilization,” according to the Academy. The next step is to bring the results on the future of American diplomacy to the public through nationwide briefings like the one in Nashville.
Ambassador Staples will share this conversation with the public at the November 9 meeting at Belmont. Following the presentation about the future of diplomacy, at 7:30 p.m., he will meet with university students from the area to talk about joining the U.S. Foreign Service and about the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, at the University of Kentucky, where he serves on the faculty. Both sessions will be held in the Frist Lecture Hall, Inman Building at Belmont University. Directions and other information are on the Belmont.edu and TNWAC.org web sites.
The Tennessee World Affairs Council, founded in 2007, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that provides programs and resources to encourage a better understanding of global issues. The Council and Belmont University’s Center for International Business are partnering to bring programs like visiting speaker engagements, high school enrichment opportunities, teacher workshops and study tours and other global awareness events to the Nashville community and to the Belmont campus.