Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, one of the key architects of a radically changing NATO, will give a free and public lecture titled "A New NATO, A New Europe" at Cornell University on Thursday, April 24, at 1:30 p.m. in Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium of Goldwin Smith Hall. He will deliver the lecture to an undergraduate class on U.S. foreign relations as part of a new lecture series made possible by the Walter LaFeber and Joel Silbey Fund in American History. Limited seating will be available in the auditorium for the public and members of the press.
Before becoming deputy secretary of state in February 1994, Talbott was ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state on the New Independent States. He has held several key positions at Time magazine: editor-at-large, Washington bureau chief, diplomatic correspondent, White House correspondent, State Department correspondent and Eastern Europe correspondent. He twice received the Edward Weintal Prize for distinguished reporting on foreign affairs and diplomacy, in 1980 and 1985.
Talbott has written five books, including Deadly Gambits (1984), The Russians and Reagan (1984) and, with Michael R. Bechloss, At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War (1993).
"Strobe Talbott has been a distinguished journalist, historian and now public servant," said Walter LaFeber, the Marie Underhill Noll Professor of American History. "As a longtime, close friend of Bill Clinton and now number two in the Department of State, Talbott has successfully formulated the administration's policy toward Russia and is spearheading the highly controversial attempt to expand NATO, the most important U.S. military alliance, into Eastern Europe despite Russian objections."
LaFeber added, "His speech will be most important, coming as it does just after the Clinton-Yeltsin summit of March and just before the historic decision this coming July to expand NATO toward the Russian borders."
EDITORS: Talbott will be available at a news briefing at 10:15 a.m. on April 24 in the Statler Hotel. For room and other information, contact Cornell News Service at (607) 255-4206.
Talbott has been a trustee of Yale University and the Hotchkiss School and has served on the boards of directors of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group. A native of Dayton, Ohio, he was educated at the Hotchkiss School and Yale, where he graduated in 1968 before spending three years at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Talbott's visit to Cornell is made possible by the Walter LaFeber and Joel Silbey Fund in American History. The fund's sponsor is David F. Maisel '68, who studied under LaFeber during the 1960s, when he also was a political reporter for the Cornell Daily Sun.
Recognizing the impact that LaFeber and Joel Silbey, the President White Professor of History, have on Cornell history students, Maisel decided to bestow a fund in their name to enhance teaching of American history at Cornell generally and to allow the history department to bring other outstanding historians to campus to interact with undergraduates.
The LaFeber and Silbey fund will bring a second distinguished speaker to Cornell this month. On Tuesday, April 29, Pulitzer Prize--winning historian and author James McPherson will give a public lecture with the title of "Was Blood Thicker Than Water? Ethnic and Civic Nationalism in the Civil War," at 4:30 p.m. in Room 165 McGraw Hall.