From the Director:
This is the first installment of our new publication, The Alabama World Affairs Council Briefing. It will be a vehicle to inform our members and friends about the activities, opportunities and achievements of our organization. It will detail who we are and what we are doing. I hope you find it informative. --Jim Nathan
Bringing the World to Montgomery
We have at least five programs a year. These are catered affairs, generally held at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. But this year our lead event will be at Auburn University at Montgomery on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 6:00 p.m.. Admiral Ronald J Kurth, Ph.D., Dean of the Air War College, will show his own award-winning color photographs of Russia. Entitled "The Changing Face of Russia", Admiral Kurth's pictures have been displayed at museums nation-wide.
Although they are especially rich in foreign affairs talent, I have not asked Montgomery residents to speak at the World Affairs Council. But Ron Kurth, Dean of the Air War College prompted an exception. An admiral, a long-time attaché in Moscow, and a Harvard Ph.D. in Russian studies, he is a remarkable talent. The only serving military officer ever asked to teach at Harvard, Admiral Kurth's last active duty post was as President of the Naval War College, a testimony to his intellect and achievements. Ron Kurth is a great speaker. The event will feature Russian food, chamber music, wine and a display of Russian life past and present.
Far and away, of the all the remarkable folks we have helped bring to Montgomery-Pulitzer prize winning author, David McCullough, Abba Ebban, Richard C Hotlett, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, and Former Secretaries of State and Defense-the best "reviews" for any speaker was James K Oliver, a distinguished professor at the University of Delaware. Professor Oliver, an author of some of the best selling and most widely used texts in US foreign policy in the last twenty years, will be our first speaker at the Museum on Tuesday, November 12 at 5:30 p.m.
Also in November, we have a good chance of meeting the Honorable Timothy Wirth. Our own Libby Cater is an old friend of Tim's, now Undersecretary of State, the second highest foreign policy position in the US government. Mr. Wirth, a former Congressman from Colorado (so you know he's a good speaker) has an especially tough brief at the State Department. Terrorism, global environment, and immigration are just some of the hard problems given to him.
Doug Cater used to tell the story of Secretary of State Dean Acheson who had three file drawers on his desk. The top was labeled out. The next was in. And the sign on the third read too hard. Tim Wirth's brief is the third one, i.e., the "hard ones."
Also on tap, but without a firm date, is Dr. Joseph Nye, Dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard after three years as Chairman of the Board of Estimates at CIA and Undersecretary of Defense, with a brief as wide as Tim Wirth's.
On January 14 at the Museum of Fine Arts, we have the Hon. Nathaniel Davis scheduled. Ambassador Davis is flying in from his year teaching at Moscow State University to talk with the Alabama World Affairs Council. Nat Davis is the West's foremost expert on the religious revival in Russia, and his new book, The Long Walk to Church, has been nominated for several prizes here and overseas. Nat Davis, incidentally, had his share of tough assignments as the youngest career Ambassador in the professional US foreign Service, in Chile, at the time of the downfall of Allende; as Assistant Secretary for Africa (during the debate on whether the US should intervene in Angola), and as the youngest Inspector General of the US Foreign Service.
On February 11th at the Museum, we have Larry Korb, Director of the Brookings Institution. Dr. Korb, former assistant Secretary of Defense for manpower, was the person responsible for the oversight of the largest peace-time defense budget in history, and perhaps one of the most lucid and influential observers of US foreign and defense policy. He has been an outspoken critic of these policies in recent years. Many of you said that Dr. Korb and Dr. Oliver were the best and most engaging speakers in your experience. We are glad to bring them back.
We will have other meetings throughout the year in cooperation with the Air University, and we are also holding meetings out of Montgomery, for the first time, in Troy. I will bring you details as they develop.
Speaking of hard problems, the nation's top trouble shooter, Robert Gallucci, is coming March 11 to the Museum. Gallucci was the official who oversaw the destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Gallucci also negotiated the controversial agreement with North Korea over its nuclear weapons and his last brief, just as NATO came in, was Bosnia. Now taking a breather as Dean of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, Bob is coming to talk on what it's like to deal with some of the toughest characters in the roughest neighborhoods in the world. Remember, it's March 11, a Tuesday. Mark your calendars.
An Invitation To Washington
Members are invited to Washington to meet with Vice President Al Gore, John Deutch, Director of CIA, hear the Capitol Steps, a famous satire group, meet with distinguished foreign correspondents, meet James Wolfensohn, Director of the World Bank, and Warren Christopher, Secretary of State. The price? $250!
For the first time the national council of world affairs is authorizing its Presidents and directors to invite members from its 92 chapters to come to Washington for its annual meeting and briefing. The line-up is truly glittering. I need to know who might be interested. We can accept up to five individuals. The price is only $250 dollars registration plus $119 a day at the Washington Hilton. The dates are Wednesday, November 13, to Friday, November 15. This is not a fund raiser. We do not make any money on these events and nearly everything is included. State Department and CIA and Embassy (yes, I forgot, there will be an Embassy Reception too!) have limited capacities (and limited budgets) so we have to have numbers set early on. If you are interested, I will give you details as they become available. Call 244-3337.
Other news from the Director:
From time to time, I am asked, "What do you do?" Somehow the appellation, Khalid bin Sultan Eminent scholar (though a great honor) at AUM doesn't seem all that descriptive. So I thought I'd give this year's activities a quick review:
There is nothing relaxed about wearing so many hats. But it sure is fun. Thanks to everyone who has helped make the Alabama World Affairs Council a success. Your support (we are all volunteers here) and the help of AUM have been critical in helping us let Montgomery get to know the world a bit better. And, as important, getting some very influential people to know Montgomery! Thanks.
It is time to renew your annual membership ($35 individual, $55 family) entitling you to attend all activities from September 1996 through August 1997. Be privy to the affairs of something great... the world. Call 244-3337 for more information.
Auburn University at Montgomery
The Alabama World Affairs Council
P.O. Box 244023
Montgomery, Alabama 36124
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Last modified: Wednesday June 18, 1997 03:15 PM