Berkley Lecture
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The Berkley Lecture was founded in 1996 and brings an expert in foreign policy and global affairs to the Kansas City area. The lecture was established through the Berkley Endowment to honor the IRC’s founder and his decades of service, and to provide a platform for engaging community members in understanding critical global issues.

Past Berkley lecturers include former U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford (2014), Gerald Seib (2011), The Honorable Thomas R. Pickering (2005), and Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr. (1998).

Upcoming Berkley Lecture

Dr. Paul Salem, president of the Middle East Institute, will present the 2020 Berkley Lecture, "U.S. Interests and Policy in a Turbulent Middle East," at a lunch program TBD due to postponement, at Grand Street Cafe.

Dr. Salem focuses on issues of political change, transition, and conflict as well as the regional and international relations of the Middle East. Salem is the author and editor of a number of books and reports including Escaping the Conflict Trap: Toward Ending Civil Wars in the Middle East (ed. with Ross Harrison, MEI 2019); Winning the Battle, Losing the War: Addressing the Conditions that Fuel Armed Non State Actors (ed. with Charles Lister, MEI 2019); From Chaos to Cooperation: Toward Regional Order in the Middle East (ed. with Ross Harrison, MEI 2017), Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings (In Arabic, 2013), "Thinking Arab Futures: Drivers, scenarios, and strategic choices for the Arab World", The Cairo Review Spring 2019;  “The Recurring Rise and Fall of Political Islam” (CSIS, 2015),  Bitter Legacy: Ideology and Politics in the Arab World (1994), and Conflict Resolution in the Arab World (ed., 1997).  Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the founding director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon between 2006 and 2013.  From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Fares Foundation and in 1989-1999 founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon's leading public policy think tank.

Salem is also a musician and composer of Arabic-Brazilian jazz. His music can be found on iTunes.

Past Berkley Lectures

2019 Amb. Paula Dobriansky
Senior Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard's JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs 

2018 Kate Charlet
Director of Technology and International Affairs Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

2017 Evans Revere
Former U.S. Diplomat and former CEO of the Korea Society

2016 Col. Nicolas Auboin
French Liaison Officer, Combined Arms Center

2015 Deana Arsenian
Vice President, Carnegie Corporation of New York

2014 Robert Ford
Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria

2013 Daniel Markey
Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, author of No Exit from Pakistan
Read about his lecture - "Is There Really No Exit From Pakistan?" - Kansas City World Citizen blog

2012 Charles A. Kupchan
Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, author, and professor at Georgetown University

2011 Gerald Seib
Washington Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal

2010 George Friedman
Founder and CEO of STRATFOR

2009 Allison Stanger
Russell Leng Professor of International Politics and Economics and Director of the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs at Middlebury College

2008 James M. Goldgeier
Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Council on Foreign Relations

2007 Walter Russell Mead
Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. foreign policy, Council on Foreign Relations

2006 Dr. George Rupp
President and CEO, International Rescue Committee

2005  The Honorable Thomas R. Pickering
Former U.S. Ambassador to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, United Nations, India, Russia

2004  The Honorable Lawrence J. Korb
Senior Fellow, American Progress and Senior Advisor, Center for Defense Information

2003  James Fallows
National Correspondent, Atlantic Monthly

2002  The Honorable Marc Grossman
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

2001  The Honorable Princeton N. Lyman
Former U.S. ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria and former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs

2000  The Honorable Frank G. Wisner
Vice Chairman, American International Group

1999  Hodding Carter III
Journalist, Assistant Secretary of State for Carter Administration

1998  Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom

1997  "Mid-Point in the Legacy" 
Conference and Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Marshall Plan

1996  The Honorable Jack Matlock, Jr.
Former U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union