Ambassador William Burns to discuss American diplomacy April 30 at Baker Institute

MEDIA ADVISORY

David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327

Jeff Falk
jfalk@rice.edu
713-348-6775


Ambassador William Burns to discuss American diplomacy April 30 at Baker Institute

HOUSTON – (April 24, 2019) – Ambassador William Burns, a former leading U.S. diplomat and the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will discuss his new book, “The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal,” in an April 30 conversation with Ambassador Edward Djerejian, director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

William Burns book coverThe event is free and open to the public. Registration is required at www.bakerinstitute.org/events/2001.

Who: Ambassador William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States, and former U.S. deputy secretary of state; and Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute and former U.S. ambassador to Syria and to Israel.

What: A discussion of Burns’ book, “The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal.”

When: Tuesday, April 30, 6:30-7:30 p.m. A reception will be held at 6.

Where: Rice University, James A. Baker III Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.

In his recently published book, Burns draws on newly declassified cables and memos to give an inside look at American diplomacy in action. Recounting some of the seminal moments of his three decades as a U.S. diplomat, Burns describes his dispatches from war-torn Chechnya and Moammar Gadhafi’s camp in the Libyan desert, as well as his warnings of the “perfect storm” that would be unleashed by the Iraq War.

Burns retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 after a diplomatic career spanning 33 years. He holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, career ambassador, and is only the second serving career diplomat in history to become U.S. deputy secretary of state. Prior to his tenure as deputy secretary, Burns served from 2008 to 2011 as under secretary of state for political affairs. He was ambassador to the Russian Federation from 2005 to 2008, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from 2001 to 2005 and ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001.

A book signing will follow the presentation. Copies of Burns’ book will be available for purchase from the Rice University Campus Store.

A live webcast will be available at the event page, www.bakerinstitute.org/events/2001.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.

For a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to www.rice.edu/maps. Media should park in the Central Campus Garage (underground).

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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.