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Former U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz to headline IU’s fourth America’s Role in the World conference

For Immediate Release Mar 19, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Ernest J. Moniz, former United States secretary of energy and co-chair and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual conference on America’s Role in the World, March 21 and 22 in the Shreve Auditorium at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

Co-convened by former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton and former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar – two of the nation’s most distinguished and influential voices in foreign policy – the two-day, nonpartisan event is open to all IU students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the public.

Moniz, who will present “Averting the New Nuclear Arms Race,” headed the U.S. Department of Energy from 2013 to 2017. He was responsible for advancing U.S. nuclear security, including playing a leading role in nuclear nonproliferation talks with Iran, promoting technological innovation in energy policy and advancing U.S. climate change goals.

He succeeded former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn as CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. In 1991, Nunn forged a bipartisan partnership with Lugar to address the post-Cold War risk from proliferation of weapons of mass destruction from the states of the former Soviet Union. The Nunn-Lugar Program has safeguarded and deactivated thousands of nuclear warheads and other weapons of mass destruction.

A discussion with Moniz and Carol Giacomo, a member of the New York Times Editorial Review Board and new Indiana University Poynter Chair, will follow his remarks.

“America’s Role in the World is not only the largest conference of its kind in the Midwest but also a premier foreign policy event in higher education,” said Lee Feinstein, founding dean of the Hamilton Lugar School and former U.S. ambassador to Poland. “We are fortunate to have the participation of globally respected scholars and experts to address the diversity of challenges faced in the heartland and around the world.”

This year’s conference focuses on hot topics such as the rise of global hate speech, the role of the new Congress in U.S. foreign policy, national security challenges heading into the 2020 presidential election and innovation in international development policy.

America’s Role in the World 2019 will also reprise two popular sessions: a conversation between Hamilton and Lugar moderated by IU alumna Marie Harf, former spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State; and “Indiana and the World,” a discussion on the ways U.S. foreign policy and global events impact Indiana and its residents. The panel will feature Tiffany Benjamin of Eli Lilly and Co.; Columbus Mayor James Lienhoop; Danny Lopez of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet; Roberto Salinas León of the Mexico Business Forum; and moderator Lesley Weidenbener of the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Additional speakers include:

  • Dina Temple-Raston, NPR
  • Dave Lawler, Axios
  • Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress
  • Suzanne Nossel, PEN America
  • Jake Sullivan, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Noah Arjomand, Indiana University
  • Derek Chollet, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
  • W. Gyude Moore, former deputy chief of staff to the president of Liberia
  • Juliette Kayyem, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
  • Harold Koh, Yale Law School
  • Lucas Kello, Oxford University
  • Agnieszka Graff, University of Warsaw
  • Sally Smith, The Nexus Fund
  • Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post
  • Grant T. Harris, Harris Africa Partners
  • Tod Lindberg, the Hudson Institute
  • Christopher A. Kojm, George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs

IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel and Vice President for Research Fred Cate will serve as moderators for “The New Congress, War Powers and U.S. Foreign Policy” and “National Security Challenges 2020,” respectively.

The entire conference will be streamed live and archived on and also available on Facebook Live via the Hamilton Lugar School’s account.

Established in 2012, the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies is a leader in the study of global and international affairs and the languages, cultures and perspectives shaping our world. Named for revered Hoosier statesmen and foreign policy voices former U.S. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton and former U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar, the Hamilton Lugar School is committed to creating leaders who celebrate differences and seek shared understanding.

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