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U.S.—Asia Relations & the Burmese Elections: An Examination of Obama Foreign Policy So Far, A Lecture Nov. 18 at Simmons College

BOSTON (November 15, 2010) — Catharin Dalpino, the newly appointed James P. and Joan M. Warburg Professor of International Relations, will discuss the state of U.S.—Burma relations in her inaugural lecture, Friday, Nov. 19 at Simmons College in Boston. The event, which takes place at 8:00 a.m. in the Kotzen Meeting Room, 300 The Fenway, is free and open to the public. A continental breakfast will be provided.

The lecture titled "Sleeping in the Same Bed but Dreaming Different Dreams: How Should We View the Burmese Elections" will examine the effectiveness of the Obama Administration's foreign policy strategy with regard to the Southeast Asian country of Burma, which the U.S. considered to be a rogue state, along with North Korea, Iran, and Cuba. Specifically, Dalpino will discuss whether the U.S. has extended a hand to Burma, given the campaign promise made by then-Senator Barack Obama that he would directly engage with such countries if he became President. Dalpino also will explore how U.S. policy-makers have reacted to the outcome of what was Burma's first election in 20 years, on Nov. 7.

This is the inaugural session of the 2010-2011 Warburg Lecture Series. The session aims to examine the Obama administration's foreign policy at the midterm point, and determine the immediate results and whether the "Obama doctrine" can be discerned. The next Warburg lecture takes place Dec. 2 and will focus on U.S. relations with Iran.

Dalpino served as the State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy from 1993 to 1997. Prior to that, she was a Policy Analyst at The World Bank, and for 10 years was a career officer with The Asia Foundation — a non-profit, peace-building organization. She was the Foundation's resident representative in Thailand and re-opened country programs in Laos and Cambodia.

After leaving the State Department, Dalpino was a Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she wrote on U.S. democracy promotion and U.S. policy toward Asia, and taught at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and George Washington University. For the past five years, she has been a visiting associate professor at Georgetown and director of its Thai Studies Program. Dalpino is the author of three books on U.S. policy toward Asia; is a frequent media commentator; and has regularly testified before Congress on issues related to U.S. policy in Asia.

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.

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