- Chair: Professor Thomas Schwartz, Distinguished Professor of History, Vanderbilt University
- Ambassador John Kornblum, U.S. Foreign Service (Ret), Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany (Confirmed)
- Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Distinguished Fellow, U.S. Foreign Service (Ret), Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to Russia, to India, to Israel, to El Salvador, to Nigeria, and to Jordan (Confirmed)
October 29, 2020
6:30-8:00 pm Eastern Time / 5:30-7:00 pm Central Time
TNWAC is launching our Election 2020 global awareness series as we prepare for the Presidential Debate hosted by our partner Belmont University on October 22nd.
TNWAC presents interviews and panels with distinguished specialists in international affairs to prepare voters with background and context on the critical issues they should know about the world.
TNWAC is a nonpartisan educational organization that seeks to educate the community on global affairs.
Thomas Alan Schwartz is a historian of the foreign relations of the United States, with related interests in American politics, the history of international relations, Modern European history, and biography. His most recent book is “Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography” (Hill and Wang, 2020). The book has received considerable notice and acclaim. Harvard’s University’s Charles Maier has written: “Thomas Schwartz’s superbly researched political biography reveals the brilliance, self-serving ego, and vulnerability of America’s most remarkable diplomat in the twentieth century, even as it provides a history of U.S. engagement in global politics as it moved beyond bipolarity.” Earlier in his career, Schwartz was the author of America’s Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (Harvard, 1991), which was translated into German, Die Atlantik Brücke (Ullstein, 1992). This book received the Stuart Bernath Book Prize of the Society of American Foreign Relations, and the Harry S. Truman Book Award, given by the Truman Presidential Library. He is also the author of Lyndon Johnson and Europe: In the Shadow of Vietnam (Harvard, 2003), which examined the Johnson Administration’s policy toward Europe and assessed the impact of the war in Vietnam on its other foreign policy objectives. He is the co-editor with Matthias Schulz of The Strained Alliance: U.S.-European Relations from Nixon to Carter, (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Professor Schwartz has held fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the German Historical Society, the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Center for the Study of European Integration. He has served as President of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations. He served on the United States Department of State’s Historical Advisory Committee as the representative of the Organization of American Historians from 2005-2008. Professor Schwartz received The Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching on April 3, 2013 at the Spring Faculty Assembly, Vanderbilt University. In 2008 Professor Schwartz received the Annual Alumni Education Award from the Vanderbilt Alumni Association. Schwartz is the recipient of the 2008 Book Award by Chi Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order. This award is given to a faculty member who has been particularly influential in the lives and education of members of KAO. Professor Schwartz presented, “The Arab Spring: Revolution in the Middle East,” on April 19, 2011, as part of the Samuel L. Shannon Distinguished Lecture Series at Tennessee State University. Professor Schwartz has also presented lectures for the OAH Distinguished Lecturers Program.
John C. Kornblum
John C. Kornblum has a long record of service in the United States and Europe both as a diplomat and as a businessman. He is recognized as an eminent expert on U.S.-European political and economic relations, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe. He served as the U.S. ambassador to Germany from 1997 to 2001. Before that, he occupied a number of high-level diplomatic posts, including U.S. assistant secretary of state for European affairs, special envoy for the Dayton Peace Process, U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Process), deputy U.S. ambassador to NATO, and U.S. minister and deputy commandant of forces in divided Berlin. From 2001 to 2009, he was chairman of Lazard Freres Germany. He currently serves as senior counsellor to the international law firm Noerr LLP and as a senior adviser to the worldwide consultancy Accenture. Mr. Kornblum has also served on a number of supervisory and advisory boards including those of Thyssen-Krupp, Technologies AG, Bayer AG, Russell Reynolds, and Motorola Europe. He is a member of the boards of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, the American Academy in Berlin, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and of numerous nonprofit organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. He received a B.A. from Michigan State University in 1964, and he has been the recipient of many awards, including a Knights Cross of the Order of Merit from Germany and an Order of Merit from Austria.
Thomas R. Pickering
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering served as the U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York under President George H.W. Bush. Tom led the U.S. effort to build a global coalition in the UN Security Council during and after the first Gulf War. He also served as the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under President Bill Clinton.
Tom holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, he was U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He also served on assignments in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In Washington, Tom was Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans, Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Executive Secretary of the Department of State, and Special Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger.
After government, he was the Senior Vice President, International Relations, of The Boeing Company. In this role, Tom was responsible for Boeing’s relations with foreign governments and the company’s transition to a global organization. Prior to that, he was briefly the president of the Eurasia Foundation, a Washington-based organization that makes small grants and loans in the states of the former Soviet Union.
In 2012, Tom chaired the Benghazi Accountability Review Board at the State Department.
In 1956, Tom entered into active duty in the U.S. Navy, and later served in the Naval Reserve to the grade of Lieutenant Commander. He was assigned to the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the State Department, later to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and served in Geneva as political adviser to the U.S. Delegation to the 18-Nation Disarmament Conference.
Tom serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is active in a number of not-for-profit boards, including the International Crisis Group, where he was previously Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Board; the current Chairman of the Boards of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. He has been a Trustee at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Institute, among other organizations. Tom maintains close, high-level contacts in all the countries in which he has served, as well as in Europe.
He received a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, with high honors in history, from Bowdoin College. Tom received a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Melbourne in Australia, and received a second master’s degree there. Tom received an honorary doctor-in-laws degree from Bowdoin College, and has received similar honors from 12 other universities.
He received the Distinguished Presidential Award and the Department of State’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award. Tom is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He speaks French, Spanish, and Swahili and has some fluency in Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian.
Make sure to watch part one of our “America’s Place in the World” panels, with General John Allen, Dr. Jessica Matthew and chair, Professor Thomas Schwartz.
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THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS IN GLOBAL AFFAIRS AWARENESS AND EDUCATION OUTREACH
THE MISSION of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Tennessee World Affairs Council is to promote international awareness, understanding and connections to enhance the region’s global stature and to prepare Tennesseans to thrive in our increasingly complex and connected world.
THE VISION of the Tennessee World Affairs Council is a well-informed community that thinks critically about the world and the impact of global events.