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Hear from Susan E. Rice—National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and US Ambassador to the United Nations— as she recalls pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy. She reveals her story as she discusses her new book Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For, a New York Times bestseller, with Penn’s Provost Wendell Pritchett.
Ambassador Rice will provide an insider’s account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late 1990s, and from conflicts in Libya and Syria to the Ebola epidemic, a secret channel to Iran, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years.
Ambassador Rice will discuss the stories behind recent national security challenges, including confrontations with Russia and China, the war against ISIS, the struggle to contain the fallout from Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, the U.S. response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the transition to the Trump administration.
Ambassador Susan Rice is currently Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at the School of International Service at American University, a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She was a Visiting Fellow at Perry World House in 2018-19. Ambassador Rice served as U.S. National Security Advisor (2013-2017) and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2009-2013). From 2002-2008, she was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she conducted research and published widely on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development. She served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1997-2001. Ambassador Rice received her Master's degree (M.Phil.) and Ph.D (D.Phil.) in International Relations from New College, Oxford University, England, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She received her B.A. in History with honors from Stanford University in 1986, where she was junior Phi Beta Kappa and a Truman Scholar.
Wendell Pritchett is the University of Pennsylvania's 30th Provost, and Presidential Professor in the Law School and the Graduate School of Education. An award-winning scholar, author, lawyer, professor, and civic and academic leader, he first joined the Penn Law faculty in 2002, serving as Interim Dean from 2014-15 and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2006-07. He served from 2009-14 as Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, leading unprecedented growth that included graduating classes of record sizes, the first campus doctoral programs, and new health education and science facilities. He has held a range of senior board and leadership positions with the City of Philadelphia, including Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy for Mayor Michael Nutter. He has served as President of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, a board member of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Co-Chair of Mayor Nutter’s Transition Committee, and Co-Chair of Barack Obama’s Urban Policy Task Force. His research examines the development of post-war urban policy, in particular urban renewal, housing finance, and housing discrimination.