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Former Ambassador to Africa to Discuss "The Militarization of American Diplomacy"

BOSTON (April 6, 2010) — Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone Thomas Hull will discuss the current state of American diplomacy in a lecture April 12 at Simmons College in Boston. The event, at 5:30 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, 300 The Fenway, is free and open to the public.

The lecture "What Ails American Diplomacy?" will take a hard look at the challenges that have led to increased military involvement in international political problems and the erosion of support for American positions on critical issues in a number of global hotspots like Iraq and Afghanistan. Hull also will question whether President Obama has the political will to rectify these problems, which he has acknowledged exist, given several challenging domestic political issues.

Hull served as ambassador to the Republic of Sierra Leone from 2004 to 2007, and is currently the Warburg Chair in International Relations at Simmons College. Throughout his 31-year diplomatic career, which also included assignments in South Africa, Nigeria, and Czechoslovakia, he was involved in issues of conflict and peace, revolution and transformation, and democracy and development. Hull also has been a Peace Corps volunteer teacher and was director of African Affairs at the former U.S. Information Agency.

Hull received a Presidential Meritorious Service Award from President Obama last fall, and from President Clinton in 1993. Founder of the Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange with the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Hull also has received many professional and humanitarian awards, as well as recognition in Who's Who in American Politics.

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, Simmons selects lecturers 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.