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Carolina to Host 2020 AAD Sisco Memorial Forum: ‘Diplomacy in a World of Transnational Crisis’

August 24, 2020
UNC Global
American Academy of Diplomacy, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill, Diplomacy in world of transnational crisis, keynote by ambassador thomas pickering



The American Academy of Diplomacy, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will host its annual Joseph J. Sisco Memorial Forum via live stream at 6 p.m. EDT on Sept. 14, 2020.

The forum, “Diplomacy in a World of Transnational Crisis,” will examine large-scale policy and diplomacy implications of transnational issues, such as COVID-19. The event features:

A keynote address by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who served as ambassador under six U.S. presidents in a distinguished diplomatic career spanning five decades.

Opening remarks by Ambassador Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and former U.S. ambassador to Algeria, Bahrain and Afghanistan .

A panel discussion featuring:

  • Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, president and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEIA) and former U.S. ambassador to South Korea
  • Dr. J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, vice provost for global affairs and chief global officer at UNC-Chapel Hill and former U.S. ambassador

The forum’s virtual format and topic, “Diplomacy in a World of Transnational Crisis,” underscore the pervasive impact of the ongoing global pandemic. “The pandemic may alter policy but diplomacy will be just as essential as ever,” Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann (ret.) commented. “Why this is so and how it will work should make for an interesting discussion.”

“This forum will give attention to the vital importance of effective American diplomacy in managing transnational challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vice Provost Stephenson said. “I look forward to welcoming my American Academy of Diplomacy colleagues to Carolina, even if, for now, only virtually.”

The American Academy of Diplomacy is an independent, non-profit association of over 300 former senior US ambassadors and high-level government officials who have served with distinction in international affairs. The Academy’s mission is to strengthen American diplomacy through outreach programs, awards, podcasts, research, and public discussions, like the Joseph J. Sisco Memorial Forum.

The forum will be live streamed via Zoom. Please register in advance to receive a Zoom link.

Visit UNC Global’s event listing to view full bios of speakers and panelists.

This programming is organized by the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill, with support from the Sisco Family Charitable Fund. Additional support provided by the UNC-Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences, including the African Studies Center; Carolina Asia Center; Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies; Center for European Studies; Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies; Curriculum in Global Studies; Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense; Department of Political Science; Department of Public Policy; Institute for the Study of the Americas; Study Abroad Office and the Global Research Institute.


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