Renowned scholar on corruption to give Coca-Cola World Fund Lecture

Sarah Chayes
Sarah Chayes

Sarah Chayes, a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Democracy and Rule of Law program and the author of “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security,” will give the annual Coca-Cola World Fund Lecture at Yale on Tuesday, March 6.

Her talk — “Government in the Public Interest: Under Assault?” — will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Henry R. Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue. The lecture, sponsored by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, is free and open to the public.

Chayes is internationally recognized for her innovative thinking on corruption and its implications. Her work explores how severe corruption can help prompt such crises as terrorism, revolutions and their violent aftermaths, and environmental degradation.

Before joining Carnegie, Chayes served as special assistant to the top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She focused on governance issues, participating in cabinet-level decision-making on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Spring, and traveling with Mullen frequently to these regions. Chayes was tapped for the job after her work as special adviser to two commanders of the international troops in Afghanistan, at the end of a decade on the ground there.

It was a sense of historic opportunity, Chayes has said, that prompted her to end her journalism career in early 2002, after covering the fall of the Taliban for NPR, and to remain in Afghanistan to help rebuild the country. She chose to settle in the former Taliban heartland, Kandahar.

In 2005, Chayes founded Arghand, a start-up manufacturing cooperative, where men and women working together produce fine skin-care products. The goal was to revive the region’s historic role in exporting fruit and its derivatives, to promote sustainable development, and to expand alternatives to the opium economy. Running Arghand in downtown Kandahar proved to an instructive vantage point for observing the unfolding war, according to Chayes.

From 1996 to 2001, Chayes was NPR’s Paris correspondent. For her work during the Kosovo crisis, she shared the 1999 Foreign Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

Along with “Thieves of State,” which won the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Chayes is the author of “The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban.”

The Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale was established in 1992 to support intersecting endeavors among specialists in international relations, international law, and the management of international enterprises and organizations. Previous lecturers in the series have included Michael Doyle, Gary Hart, Tom Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Sam Nunn, Sadako Ogata, Samantha Power, Mary Robinson, Raghuram Rajan, Eboo Patel, Mo Ibrahim, Marwan Muasher, Raila Odinga, John Githongo, Deborah Brautigam, and Mahmood Mamdani.

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