R. Nicholas Burns, professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, presented his lecture “America and the World” at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on Thurs., October 24. The lecture was a part of the Waldo Family Lecture Series on international relations.
Burns has dedicated 27 years of work to the U.S. government. His various positions have included being a member of National Security Council, State Department spokesman, ambassador to Greece, US ambassador to NATO and undersecretary of State for Political Affairs.
The lecture focused largely on America’s status in the international community, the influence we have in the global economy and why it is unfeasible for the U.S. to revert to its isolationist tendencies. Throughout his presentation, Burns referenced his prior experience in civil service objectively and with nonpartisan bias. He did this through anecdotes, such as how he played an “integral role in the U.S.-India nuclear negotiations.”
Burns also provided insight into the abundant diplomacy issues the State Department faces on a daily basis and gave critical advice for the sustainment of the United States as a world power. Burns suggests “U.S. involvement in all regions of the world…and the protection and support of all of our allies.”
There was a question and answer session at the end of the lecture. He answered questions that ranged from how the government shutdown impacted the rest of the world to the controversial NSA hacker Edward Snowden.