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Date: October 27, 2009
Please join us for a Warburg lecture and reception from the fall 2009 lecture series. Our Lecturer will be Ambassador Thomas W. Simons, Jr., whose topic will be "Today's Russia, its Neighbors, and the U.S." The lecture will begin at 5:00pm on Tuesday, October 27, in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center.
Simons assays the key post-1991 political, economic, and social developments in the fifteen successor states to the Soviet Union that comprise Eurasia, and makes the case that the United States can play a large role in shaping the future of this vast and strategic region, and at less cost than during Soviet times. But, he argues, it can only play that role if U.S. policy toward Eurasia shifts from alternating bombast and indifference to steady and flexible engagement that focuses on the area's fledgling individual nation-states.
Thomas W. Simons, Jr. is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Lecturer in Harvard's Government Department, where he teaches on Post-Communist Islam, the situation of Muslims in the post-Soviet region and the Balkans, and on Islam in Central and South Asia. As a career Foreign Service Officer (1963-98), he specialized in East-West affairs, with postings in Warsaw, Moscow, and Bucharest. He holds the record for tenure as Director for Soviet Union Affairs (1981-85), and served in 1986-89 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In the 1990s he served as Ambassador to Poland (1990-93), Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union (1993-95), and as U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan (1996-98). His latest book is Eurasia's New Frontiers. Young States, Old Societies, Open Futures (Cornell, 2008). He and his wife Peggy traveled the Silk Road from Beijiing to Moscow via Central Asia in 2006, and visited Central Asia again this past September.