October 16, 2008 Willam Smyser To Discuss "Is Diplomacy the Answer?" at Library of Congress Oct. 23
Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Public contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692
Does the U.S., as a longstanding superpower, need a diplomatic strategy to protect and advance our interests in the new world? William R. Smyser will examine the topic in a lecture at the Library of Congress on October 23. Smyser is the former holder of the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. He will present the talk at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Kluge Center, the lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. According to Smyser, U.S. leaders need to look at American history from Benjamin Franklin to Henry Kissinger for guidance. Smyser will discuss the effectiveness of various principles of diplomacy. Smyser, an adjunct professor in the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University, is an expert on the economy and politics of Europe and on global humanitarian matters. During his career, Smyser has worked for the U.S. government, the United Nations and in foundation management and academia. He lived in Germany during the 1930s and later served there with U.S. forces in the 1950s, under General Lucius Clay in Berlin in the 1960s and as a political counselor at the American Embassy in Bonn. He was an adviser to the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam in 1969. Smyser has held a number of senior executive positions in the White House and was a senior member of Henry Kissinger's National Security Council staff, having played a key role in American efforts to establish diplomatic relations between the United States and Communist China during the 1970s. In addition to his position at Georgetown University, Smyser teaches at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, works as a consultant on international politics and economics for private firms and the State Department, and is a periodic commentator for the BBC and Deutsche Welle. He has written 10 books. The most recent are "The Humanitarian Conscience: Caring for Others in the Age of Terror (2003), "How Germans Negotiate: Logical Goals, Practical Solutions" (2002) and "Yalta to Berlin: the Cold War Struggle over Germany" (1999). The Kissinger chair program offers outstanding thinkers and practitioners a unique opportunity to pursue advanced research in the largest and most international collection of library materials in the world. Previous chair-holders include Aaron Friedberg, Klaus Larres, Lanxin Xiang, Melvyn Leffler, James Goldgeier and Charles Kupchan. Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For more information about the Kluge Center; visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.