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Front of Howard Baker Center - 10.25-16 - Photo by Kellie Crye Ward

UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy has released its schedule for lectures and events this spring:

February 7—Akbar Ahmed, Ashe Lecture Series, 5–6 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. “Being Muslim Today: Building Bridges in an Age of Uncertainty.” Ambassador Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, DC, and former Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland.

February 15—Desiree Tullos, Energy and Environment Forum, 1–2:30 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. “Dam Removal and R-operation in an Age of Complex Hydro Systems.” Tullos is a professor in the Biological and Ecological Engineering Department at Oregon State University. Her work and passion are in the sustainable management of rivers.

February 23—Eric Eyre, special event, 1-2:15, Toyota Auditorium. “Tackling the Opioid Crisis.” Eyre is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who has written several articles regarding the rampant opioid epidemic in West Virginia.

March 1—Robin Craig, Energy and Environment Forum, 1–2:30 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. “Narrating the Anthropocene, or Learning to Live with the Trickster.” Craig is the James I. Farr Professor of Law at the University of Utah’s Law School. She is also serving as acting director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment.

March 6—Wayne Davis, The Last Lecture, 6:30–7:30 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. Davis is dean of UT’s Tickle College of Engineering and a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

March 28—Global Security panel discussion, 5–6 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. “War’s Forgotten People: Human Migration and Refugees.” Panelists include Curtis Bell, associate director at One Earth Future; Tricia Hepner, professor of anthropology at UT; Drocella Mugorewera, executive director of Bridge Refugee Services Knoxville; and Krista Wiegand, professor of political science at UT and director of the Global Security program, who will moderate the panel.

April 5—Andrew Plantinga, Energy and Environment Forum, 1–2:30 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. “Missing the People for the Trees: Elucidating the Role of Human Behavior in the Ecology of Lyme Disease.” Plantinga is a professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

April 12—Nicholas Burns, Ashe Lecture Series. Details TBD. Ambassador Burns is the Roy and Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

April 20—TN Civic Summit, 9-4:30 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. In partnership with CivicTN and East Tennessee State University, the summit will bring together representatives from campuses across the state to learn how to improve voter education, registration, and participation.

April 26—Sadie Ryan, Energy and Environment Forum, 1–2:30 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. Presentation title will be announced at a later time. Ryan is associate professor of medical geography at the University of Florida.

May 3—Beth Harwell, Leadership and Governance Lecture, 4–5 p.m., Toyota Auditorium. “Leading TN Forward.” Harwell is a representative of the 56th District in Tennessee and currently serves as speaker of the house.


Elizabeth Woody (865-974-0931,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,