Jordanian Reformer To Speak at Yale University

Marwan Muasher, former ambassador to the United States, author and political reformer, will deliver the Henry L. Stimson Lecture on World Affairs on September 16 at 4 p.m. in Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

The title of his Stimson Lecture is “Moderation and the Search for Peace in the Middle East.”

Muasher will give a second lecture, “The Slow Process of Arab Reform,” on Thursday, September 25 in Luce Hall at 4 p.m. Free and open to the public, these lectures are sponsored by the Macmillan Center and Yale University Press.

Both talks will touch on issues analyzed in Muasher’s new book, The Arab Center, The Promise of Moderation. In the book, he recounts behind-the-scenes details of diplomatic ventures over the past two decades, including such recent undertakings as the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map for Peace in the Middle East. He assesses how the middle-road approach to reform is faring and explains why current tactics used by the West to deal with Islamic groups are doomed to failure. He examines why the Arab center has made so little progress and which Arab, Israeli and American policies need rethinking.

A Jordanian national, Muasher enjoyed a career that has spanned the areas of development, diplomacy, civil society, and communications. He began as a journalist for the Jordan Times, then served at the Ministry of Planning from 1985 to 1990, and later was press advisor to the Prime Minister of Jordan.

In 1995, Muasher opened Jordan’s first embassy in Israel, and in 1996 became minister of information and spokesperson for his government. From 1997 to 2002, he represented Jordan in Washington, D.C. as ambassador to the United States, negotiating the first free trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. After he returned to Jordan to serve as foreign minister, he became deeply involved in the peace process. In 2004, he was named deputy prime minister responsible for reform and government performance. He led the effort to produce a 10-year development strategy that included major recommendations on political and economic reform, financial services, fiscal reforms, employment, education, and training.

The Stimson Lectures are funded by an anonymous donor in honor of Henry L. Stimson, Yale College 1889, an attorney and statesman whose government service culminated with his tenure as secretary of war during World War II. Since 1998, The MacMillan Center and the Yale University Press have maintained an arrangement whereby the manuscripts of occasional lectures by distinguished diplomats and foreign policy experts, who have been invited and funded by the MacMillan Center, have been published by the Yale University Press. Previous Stimson Lectures published by the Yale Press have included Political Order in Changing Societies by Samuel P. Huntington, Financial Crises in Emerging Markets by Alexandre Lamfalussy, and Arms and Influence by Thomas C. Schelling.

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