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Former White House Advisor to Keynote 2017 Borah Symposium on Polarization

March 03, 2017

In a time when the world seems to becoming smaller through globalization, it is also pulling itself apart. This is the focus of the 2017 University of Idaho Borah Symposium, scheduled for April 3-5.

The symposium, titled “Polarized Cultures in a Globalized World,” will bring together world leaders, diplomats scholars and activists to address the community in a variety of free events, open to the public.

“We find ourselves in a great national debate between the ideologies of globalism and nationalism,” said Steven Daley-Laursen, professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Society and co-chair of the Borah Committee. “This year’s Borah Symposium will be a forum for understanding the potential risks and opportunities of both in terms of economics, climate, health, communications and security.”

Robert Malley, a member of the United States’ National Security Council under President Obama, will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in the International Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pitman Center. 

Malley served as special assistant to President Barack Obama, senior advisor to the president for the counter-ISIL campaign, and White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf Region from 2015 to 2016. As the most senior White House official focused on the Middle East, Malley coordinated governmentwide efforts to counter ISIL and was the lead White House negotiator for the Iran nuclear deal as well as for international talks on the Syrian civil war, including negotiations with the Russian Federation.

A special event, “Breaking Bread with Refugees,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, in the International Ballroom of the Pitman Center. This dinner conversation with current refugees in Idaho is hosted by the International Rescue Committee 

Other speakers during the symposium include Tom Paulson, founder of Humanosphere, a news source for global health, poverty and inequity; members of the International Rescue Committee, who aids refugees and victims of humanitarian crises; and Andrea Johnson, executive director of Green Empowerment, a renewable energy and rural community development organization.

“The United States is at a crossroads, facing a choice between withdrawal and engagement on the world stage,” said John Murray, grants and contracts compliance specialist in the College of Education and co-chair of the Borah Committee. “The symposium speakers will explore the moral and political challenges we face in international obligations.”

The is the 70th annual Borah Symposium, which is sponsored by the William Edgar Borah Outlawry of War Foundation, a separately endowed foundation operated out of the UI’s Martin Institute in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, which was established to honor and continue the work of Idaho Sen. William Borah on behalf of peace.  

A full schedule of events for the 2017 Borah Symposium is available at http://www.uidaho.edu/class/borah/2017.

Media Contact:

Romuald Afatchao
Associate Director, Martin Institute and Program in International Studies
208-885-5735
afatchao@uidaho.edu


About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, a research and Extension center in Twin Falls, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to more than 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu