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Dissent: Challenging U.S. Foreign Policies from Afghanistan to Gaza

Date & time

Feb 23, 2011, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Free and open to the public.

Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. Deputy Ambassador presents an examination of U.S. foreign policies in the Middle East from her point of view as a former military officer and government official, and peace activist. Further, drawing upon her recent travels, she will share her direct observations and personal experiences.

About the speaker
Ann Wright grew up in Bentonville, Arkansas, and attended the University of Arkansas, where she received a master's and a law degree. She also has a master's degree in national security affairs from the U.S. Naval War College. After college, she spent thirteen years in the U.S. Army and sixteen additional years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel. In 1987, Ann joined the Foreign Service and served as U.S. Deputy Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She received the State Department's Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2,500 people from the civil war in Sierra Leone, the largest evacuation since Saigon. She was on the first State Department team to go to Afghanistan and helped to reopen the embassy there in December 2001. Her other overseas assignments included Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Grenada, Micronesia, and Nicaragua. On March 19, 2003, Ann became one of only three U.S. State Department officials to resign in protest over the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Since her resignation from the State Department, Ann Wright has been an outspoken critic of U.S. foreign policy and a central player in the international peace movement. Ann is omnipresent at peace demonstrations in the United States and around the world. She has been on delegations to Iran and Gaza. She was an organizer for the Gaza Freedom March that brought together 1,350 people from 44 countries to Cairo, Egypt, in solidarity with the people of Gaza. In May 2010, Ann was aboard the Gaza flotilla that was attacked by the Israeli military and, since then, has been a leading organizer in raising funds to send additional boats to Gaza. Ann has also played an important role in raising awareness of the problem of sexual assaults in the U.S. military.

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Sponsored by the Barger Leadership Institute. Co-sponsored by the Arab Student Association, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Program on Intergroup Relations,and Residential College.