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As part of the 2018-2019 Martin Forums, the Martin Institute presents “U.S. Foreign Policy Challenges in 2019” by former Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Admin Auditorium.

Earlier this academic year, the Martin Institute presented “Surviving A Kidnapping in Chechnya" and featured survivors Camilla Carr & Jonathan James on Oct. 23, 2018 at the University of Idaho.

2018-19 Martin Forum Speakers

Join the Martin Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Admin Auditorium for our Martin Forum “U.S. Foreign Policy Challenges in 2019,” presented by Ambassador (Retired) Kristie A. Kenney.

Ambassador Kenney holds the State Department's highest rank of Career Ambassador. Over her 30-year career, she represented the United States abroad as Ambassador three times and served in senior positions at the State Department and the White House.

Ambassador Kenney served as the 32nd Counselor of the State Department, the Department's fifth ranking official position. On behalf of Secretary Kerry, she led delegations to Latin America and Asia. She is a frequent public speaker on leadership and foreign policy with a special focus on women's groups. She currently teaches a course on leadership at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

As Ambassador to Thailand from 2011-2014, Ambassador Kenney led U.S. assistance during Thailand’s devastating 2011 flooding, and managed the response to the 2014 military coup. She was the first female to head U.S. Embassy Bangkok, one of the United States largest diplomatic missions with over 3,000 staff.

She was the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines from 2006-2010, and was also the first woman to hold that post. There, she coordinated U.S. military and development assistance over multiple natural disasters. During this and subsequent assignments, she pioneered use of social media by U.S. Ambassadors to connect with diverse and dynamic foreign audiences. Earlier, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador, where she advanced U.S. business and security interests in Latin America.

Ambassador Kenney grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC. She holds a bachelor's degree from Clemson University and a master's degree from Tulane University. She also attended the National War College in Washington, D.C. She speaks Spanish, and French as well as some Thai and Tagalog. She is married to Ambassador William Brownfield. When not rooting for Washington area sports teams, Ambassador Kenney enjoys travel, the outdoors and connecting with social media friends around the globe.

Kidnapping survivors and internationally known speakers Camilla Carr and Jonathan James will present a lecture and discussion titled “Surviving a Kidnapping in Chechnya” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the University of Idaho Vandal Ballroom of the Bruce M. Pitman Center.

Carr and James went to Chechnya in 1997 to help set up a center for war-traumatized children when they were kidnapped and held in captivity by Chechen rebels for more than 14 months. Experiencing everything from rape, mental torture and the threat of execution to moments of compassion and kindness, Carr and James credit their survival to creating a dialogue with their captors and using tools such as Tai Chi, meditation and humor.

Today, the couple facilitate workshops exploring coping strategies to many international organizations, including the United Nations, military, police and schools.

Carr and James wrote a book about their experience, “The Sky Is Always There” in 2008 and were featured on season 2 of Netflix’s true crime series “Captive.”

The address is part of a multi-day visit from the couple, who will be at U of I Oct. 23-25 as part of the Martin Forum series. Since 1999, U of I’s Martin Institute in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences has organized Martin Forums to bring international experts to campus for a public lecture, class visits and meetings with both campus and community audiences.

During their visit, Carr and James will speak with U of I students and faculty and facilitate a workshop for students on how to cope with a kidnapping.

Ambassador Kristie Kenney
Former Ambassador Kristie Kenney
Jon James and Camilla Carr hold their book, "The Sky is Always There" that they authored together
Jon James and Camilla Carr hold their book, "The Sky is Always There," that they authored together after their experience.

The Martin Institute

Physical Address:
338 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Martin Institute
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3177
Moscow, ID 83844-3177

Phone: 208-885-6527

Fax: 208-885-9464


Web: Martin Institute