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Former NATO Ambassador Kurt Volker—a leading expert in U.S. foreign and national security policy—will speak at UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy on Tuesday, August 25, at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Ashe Distinguished Lecture Series.

K. Volker JPEGVolker’s lecture—”Values, Strategies and Alliances: Tools for Tackling Challenges to the Global Order”—will address various global issues including the Iran treaty, U.S. relations with Russia, and other pertinent topics.

Volker currently serves as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership—a part of Arizona State University based in Washington, DC—and has more than thirty years of experience in a variety of government, academic, and private sector capacities.

Volker was a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, with more than twenty-three years of experience working on European policy under five administrations. He served as ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from July 2, 2008, until May 17, 2009—straddling the transition from the George W. Bush to the Obama administration.  His tenure at NATO saw Russia’s invasion of Georgia, the ramping up of military efforts in Afghanistan, the return of France to NATO’s military structure, the enlargement of NATO to twenty-eight members and NATO’s sixtieth Anniversary Summit in Strasbourg, France.

“Political tensions and conflicts around the world make this an ideal time for a visit from Ambassador Volker,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center. “We hope to learn from his wisdom and experience.”

The Ashe Distinguished Lecture Series is part of the Baker Center’s Leadership and Governance Policy program and was established with a gift from former Knoxville mayor and U.S. ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe. Ambassadors and mayors are invited to speak on a variety of public policy matters including foreign relations, diplomacy, world affairs, and local government. Through their experience, they are able to reveal nuances and intrinsic information regarding topics that fulfill the center’s educational mission. All lectures are free and open to the public.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,