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Former Director of Soviet Affairs to Discuss U.S.- Eurasia Relations

BOSTON (October 20, 2009) — Former Director of Soviet Affairs Thomas W. Simons, Jr. will discuss the developments in Eurasia and that area's relationship with the U.S. during a lecture Oct. 27 at Simmons College in Boston. The event, which takes place at 5 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, 300 The Fenway, is free and open to the public.

The lecture titled, "Today's Russia, its Neighbors, and the U.S.," will address key post-1991 political, economic, and social developments in the 15 successor states to the Soviet Union that comprise Eurasia. Simons will make the case that the U.S. can play a large role in shaping the future of this vast and strategic region, and at less cost than during Soviet times.

Simons is a visiting scholar at Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a lecturer in Harvard's government department, where he teaches on post-communist Islam, the situation of Muslims in the post-Soviet region and the Balkans, and on Islam in Central and South Asia.

As a career Foreign Service officer, he holds the record for tenure as director for Soviet Union affairs (1981-85), and served from 1986-89 as the deputy assistant secretary of state, responsible for relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. He served as U.S. ambassador to Poland (1990-93), coordinator of U.S. assistance to the new independent states of the former Soviet Union (1993-95), and U.S. ambassador to Pakistan (1996-98).

The annual Simmons College Warburg Lecture Series calls upon national and international experts to explore important current issues in international relations. The Warburg Lecture Series was established at Simmons College in the early 1980s by Simmons Emerita Trustee Joan Melber Warburg, a 1945 Simmons graduate. Each year, lecturers are chosen who have made significant contributions to important areas of international relations. Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston.