Former senator Richard Lugar to discuss U.S. foreign policy at Yale

Former U.S. senator for Indiana Richard Lugar will present the George Herbert Walker Jr. Lecture in International Studies at Yale on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Titled “Modern American Foreign Policy in an Uncertain World,” his talk will be delivered at 4:30 p.m. in Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave. Sponsored by the Yale MacMillan Center, it is free and open to the public.

Lugar is president of the Lugar Center, a non-profit organization focusing on nuclear non-proliferation, food security, and other critical issues. He also recently announced the creation of the Lugar Academy at the University of Indianapolis (UIndy), which includes a Washington, D.C. semester-long internship program for UIndy students and other student leaders. Lugar was also recently named a Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar at the new School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University.

A fifth-generation Hoosier who was the longest-serving member of Congress in Indiana history, Lugar is recognized as a gifted local and state leader, as well as a respected national and international statesman. During his tenure as senator, he exercised leadership on important issues such as food security, nuclear non-proliferation, energy independence, and free trade. Lugar holds 46 honorary degrees from colleges and universities in 15 states and the District of Columbia. He was the fourth person ever named Outstanding Legislator by the American Political Science Association.

Lugar graduated first in his class at both Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He attended Pembroke College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, studying politics, philosophy, and economics. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1957, ultimately serving as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke, chief of Naval Operations.

Lugar manages his family's 604-acre Marion County corn, soybean, and tree farm. Before entering public life, he helped manage the family's food machinery manufacturing business in Indianapolis with his brother Tom.

As the two-term mayor of Indianapolis (1968-1975), he envisioned the unification of the city and surrounding Marion County into one government. Unigov, as Lugar's plan was called, is credited with setting the city on a path of uninterrupted economic growth. He served three terms on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, including two terms as the vice-chair of the commission, and served as president of the National League of Cities.

Lugar has been a leader in reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. In 1991, he forged a bipartisan partnership with then-Senate Armed Services chair Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) to destroy weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. To date, the Nunn-Lugar program has deactivated more than 7,600 nuclear warheads that were once aimed at the United States.

As chair of the Agriculture Committee, Lugar built bipartisan support for 1996 federal farm program reforms, ending 1930s-era federal production controls. He has promoted broader risk management options for farmers, research advancements, increased export opportunities, and higher net farm income. Lugar initiated a biofuels research program to help decrease U.S. dependency on foreign oil. He also led initiatives to streamline the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reform the food stamp program, and preserve the federal school lunch program.

George Herbert Walker III, formerly the U.S. ambassador to Hungary, established this lecture series in 1986 in memory of his father, a graduate of the Yale Class of 1927. Previous George Herbert Walker Jr. Lecturers in International Studies have included George Schultz, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Madeleine Albright, Brent Scowcroft, James Baker III, George Mitchell, Richard Holbrooke, Carla Hills, Christopher Hill, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Goldstone, John Major, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, among other noted international figures.