World Affairs Discussion Luncheon with Ambassador Vicki Huddleston

When: April 26, 2012

From: 11:30 AM - 01:30 PM

Presenter: Ambassador Vicki Huddleston

Topic: Countering Extremist Threats in the Horn and West Africa

Location: The Lodge, 750 North St. Francis Drive

Cost: $26 CIR Members; $32 Non-members & Guests

Reservation Deadline: Monday, April 23

With the African Union and U.N. recent approval of additional  African peacekeepers for Somalia, al Shabaab may be defeated.  This would reduce the threat to the West by closing terrorist training camps and putting pressure on the pirates.   But in West Africa the extremist threat is expanding as a result of arms proliferation from Libya, the growth of Nigeria’s violent religious insurgents Boca Haroum, and a Tureag rebellion in Mali and Niger.

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and has led four diplomatic missions: U.S. Ambassador to Madagascar and to Mali, acting Ambassador in Ethiopia, and Principal Officer at the United States Interests Section in Havana, Cuba. She was Deputy Chief of Mission in Port au Prince and Director of the Office of Cuban Affairs.

Vicki was a Visiting Scholar at Brookings Institute where she was co-leader of the “U.S. Policy Toward a Cuba in Transition” project and co-author of “Learning to Salsa – New Steps in U.S. – Cuba Relations”. Vicki was a Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government. She worked for former Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM) as an American Political Science Association fellow. Prior to entering the diplomatic service she worked for the American Institute for Free Labor Development in Peru and Brazil. She began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru.

Vicki has been a featured speaker at Harvard’s Rockefeller and Kennedy Centers, the Commonwealth Club, and International Affairs Councils. She has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, and the Miami Herald; worked as a commentator for MS-NBC; and appeared on major TV networks and radio as an expert on Cuba and Africa.

Ambassador Huddleston has a M.A. degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from the University of Colorado. She has received the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the President’s Meritorious Service Award, and the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award. She is married to Robert Huddleston and has two children, Robert and Alexandra.

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