Former British Prime Minister John Major To Speak at Yale

Sir John Major, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, will present the George Herbert Walker, Jr. Lecture in International Studies at Yale on November 30.

His talk, titled “Fantasy to Reality: The World that Lies Ahead,” will be held at 4 p.m. in Henry R. Luce Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue. Sponsored by the MacMillan Center and the Center for the Study of Globalization, it is free and open to the public.

Major served as prime minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the Conservative Party from 1990 to 1997. Under his leadership, the Northern Ireland peace process was begun, Britain successfully negotiated the Maastricht Treaty, and – along with the United States under President George H.W. Bush – the UK entered the First Gulf War. Succeeded as prime minister by Tony Blair, Major continued to serve in Parliament until his retirement in 2001.

Winning his first Parliamentary seat in 1979, Major quickly moved up the ministerial ranks and, in 1989, was appointed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to be foreign secretary and then Chancellor of the Exchequer. After Thatcher’s resignation in 1990, Major was elected party leader and prime minister, and in 1992 led the Conservative Party to an unprecedented fourth term in office.

In 1999, Queen Elizabeth awarded Major the Companion of Honour, in recognition of his initiation of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. In 2005, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter – England’s highest award for chivalry – by the Queen.

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 Paul Wolfowitz, George Schultz, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Madeleine Albright, Brent Scowcroft, James Baker III, George Mitchell, Richard Holbrooke, Carla Hills, Strobe Talbott, Christopher Hill, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Richard Goldstone.

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Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345

Marilyn Wilkes: marilyn.wilkes@yale.edu, 203-432-3413