Board, Council Spend a Day at the Wilson Center

Highlights from a Board and Council event, May 25, 2011

May 25, 2011
Jane Harman, Senator John Kerry, Omar Al Shamsi
Jane Harman, Sen. John Kerry, Omar Al Shamsi

Senator Kerry Gives Keynote at UAE Embassy Dinner

On May 25, Wilson Center Board, Council, and WilsonAlliances members spent the evening at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates. The embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Omar Al Shamsi, offered welcoming remarks and then Senator John Kerry discussed his recent trip to Pakistan as well as his views on recent events in the Middle East. Kerry said the problems the United States faces today are the hardest he has seen in his lifetime-—unlike the situation in the Cold War when we had a defined enemy. He touched on the complex nature of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, spoke on U.S. interest with regard to Iran, Yemen, and Egypt, and urged a stronger response to the Syrian government’s crackdown. Kerry then held a Q&A at the close of the evening, during which he discussed his views on the Arab-Israeli conflict and prospects for peace.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Speaks at Inaugural Hamilton Lecture


Adm. Mike Mullen

One of the things I believe the Wilson Center and the military profession have in common is the incredible reservoir of intellectual capital resonant in our people,” said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen on May 25 at the inaugural lecture of the Lee Hamilton Lecture Series on Civil Discourse and Democracy. Mullen emphasized engagement and diplomacy, as well as increasing our competitive edge through technology, training, and human capital. “We need to look beyond the urgent,” he said, and consider long-range strategy. Mullen also thanked the lecture’s namesake, former congressman and former Wilson Center Director Lee Hamilton, in attendance, “for always being civil no matter how tough the debate, and for being a leader dedicated to safeguarding our democracy like very few others.”