The Distinguished Lecture Series presented by the Honors College at Boise State University will feature former Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.
Blinken will present “Is democracy in trouble – what does the rise in populism and authoritarianism portend for democracies worldwide?”
The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required and free parking will be available.
Blinken has held senior foreign policy positions in two administrations over three decades. He was confirmed by the U. S. Senate in December 2014 as Deputy Secretary of State, the nation’s number two diplomat. As Deputy Secretary, Blinken has traveled to 38 countries, helping to lead diplomacy in the fight against ISIL/Daesh, the rebalance to Asia and the global refugee crisis. He has also built bridges to the innovation community, creating a full-time State Department presence in Silicon Valley and the State Department Innovation Forum, which enlists technologists in solving foreign policy problems.
Before his tenure at State, Blinken served in the White House as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he chaired the inter-agency Deputies Committee, the administration’s principal forum for formulating foreign policy. During the first term of the Obama Administration, he was Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden.
Blinken served for six years on Capitol Hill (2002–2008) as Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
He was a member of President Clinton’s National Security Council staff at the White House (1994 to 2001). From 1999 to 2001, he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs, President Clinton’s principal advisor for relations with the countries of Europe, the European Union and NATO. From 1994 through 1998, Blinken was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Speechwriting and then Strategic Planning, overseeing foreign policy planning, communications and speechwriting and serving as President Clinton’s chief foreign policy speechwriter.
Blinken began his government service at the State Department in 1993, where he served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs.
After leaving the Clinton Administration, was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001-2002. Prior to joining the Clinton Administration, Blinken practiced law in New York and Paris.
He has been a reporter for The New Republic and has written about foreign policy for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine and Foreign Affairs. He appeared frequently on cable and network television on behalf of the Obama Administration, has spoken to audiences around the world and is currently a CNN global affairs analyst and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times about U.S. foreign policy.
Blinken is a graduate of Harvard College (magna cum laude) and Columbia Law School.
The Distinguished Lecture Series features speakers who have had a major impact in politics, the arts, science, or other realms of contemporary significance. Former speakers in the series include German filmmaker Werner Herzog, political analyst David Brooks, Iranian-American author Azar Nafisi, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman, Australia’s first woman Prime Minister Julia Gillard, author Sir Salman Rushdie, climate change scientist Susan Soloman and others.