The Amb. Huddleston Lectures

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The Amb. Huddleston Lectures
from to
ical Google outlook Community Events Education Events Featured Events

We’re thrilled to have the brilliant Amb. Vicki Huddleston, a member of the CIR Board of Directors, offer a four-part lecture series over the fall. Join us! She’s a fantastic story-teller who will weave history, politics, and her own personal experiences in exploring the Indian Ocean and the African continent on four distinct but connected topics.

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE – either as a package for all four lectures ($65) or for the lectures individually ($20).

Lecture One. Pirates of the Indian Ocean. Piracy is as old as the first vessels that set out to explore, trade and conquer the world. As a pirate once snapped at Alexander the Great, “I seize the oceans with a pretty ship so I am called a robber, but you who do it with a great fleet are called an emperor!” Piracy has indelibly shaped much of the Indian Ocean, particularly the east coast of Africa. This seminar will trace the long and checkered history of pirates, from La Bouche (who was immortalized in Treasure Island) to Kanhoji Angre, an Indian national hero.

When: Tuesday, September 24th. 10am – 12pm

Where: CIR Conference Room. 413 Grant Ave, Suite D.

Lecture Two. Africa the Great Continent. Africa is the second largest continent in the world and the second most populous. The United States, China, India, Mexico, Japan, and Europe would all fit within the continent’s borders. While we look at Africa as one country or a few regions, we should instead see it as the cradle of civilization, as the birthplace of mathematics, astronomy, and even paper. Today, as in the past, Africa’s greatness lies in its people, in their traditions and their history. In this historical seminar, Vicki shares many of her experiences across the continent.

When: Tuesday, October 22nd. 10am – 12pm

Where: CIR Conference Room. 413 Grant Ave, Suite D.

Lecture Three. Terrorism. One of Africa’s biggest challenges comes from outside the continent: terrorism. And Africa is fertile ground for terrorism due to ethnic and religious differences, poverty and corruption, climate change, rapid population growth with limited infrastructure and ill-distributed opportunities. This seminar traces the emergence of terrorism across Africa and the Indian Ocean, with Vicki recounting some of her direct experiences with tribal and military leaders. As one tribal leader told her, “You will never win this war unless you work with us, for we are the masters of the desert.”

When: Tuesday, November 19th. 10am – 12pm

Where: CIR Conference Room. 413 Grant Ave, Suite D.

Lecture Four. Africa Today. This seminar is a celebration of Africa as it claims its place on the world stage. Africa is coming of age: its economies are strengthening, its leaders are talking, and it is finally able to address the many challenges left behind by colonialism and the wars of independence. Major challenges remain, however: climate change, growing populations, corruption, and competition for its resources among the world’s major powers. Still, one can say that the music is on, even if the dancing hasn’t begun.  

When: Tuesday, December 10th. 10am – 12pm

Where: CIR Conference Room. 413 Grant Ave, Suite D.

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE – either as a package for all four lectures ($65) or for the lectures individually ($20).

Amb. Vicki Huddleston is a retired career Senior Foreign Service Officer whose last assignment was as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from June 2009 through December 2011. Before that she was Chargé d’Affaires ad interim to Ethiopia, United States Ambassador to Mali, Principal Officer of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar. She was Chief of United States Interests Section in Havana from 1999–2002 and was earlier the Deputy and then the Coordinator of the Office of Cuban Affairs. Prior to joining the Department of Defense, she was a visiting scholar at Brookings Institution. She was Chief of Party for a USAID-funded capacity building project in Haiti from 2013-2015. She is the author of the recent memoir, Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba.