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The Martin Forums for the 2017-18 academic year will include a lecture by Ambassador Maura Connelly, former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon. Ambassador Connelly will be speaking on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 at the University of Idaho about American Diplomacy in the Middle East.

2017-18 Martin Forum Speakers

Former United States Ambassador Maura Connelly, an expert on the Middle East and foreign affairs, will give a free, public address titled “American Diplomacy in the Middle East” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7 in the University of Idaho Administration Building Auditorium as the keynote address for the Martin Forum. The talk will focus on the many aspects required for a healthy U.S. approach to diplomacy in the Middle East, taking into account both specific countries and the broader Middle East Peace Process.

Connelly is a career diplomat with over 30 years of service and posts on four continents. Most recently, she served as the senior advisor for United Nations management and reform with the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York. From 2010 to 2013, Connelly served as the U.S. ambassador in Lebanon, and in 2014, she directed the interagency working group supporting the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

This address is part of a week long visit from the former ambassador, who will be at the U of I from Feb. 5-9, 2018, as this year’s Distinguished Practitioner of International Affairs through the Martin Institute within U of I’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. While on campus, Connelly will teach a short course on American diplomacy in the Middle East and visit with students, including those from the Model UN program and international politics courses.

“We are thrilled to have such an accomplished diplomat as the 2018 Distinguished Practitioner of International Affairs,” said Ro Afatchao, associate director of the Martin Institute. “We are hoping for a candid and informative discussion about the Middle East peace process and America’s role in the region based on Ambassador Connelly’s extensive experience.”

Held annually, the Visiting Distinguished Practitioners of International Affairs events provide a forum for experts to share their insights with students and a unique opportunity for the public to engage in meaningful, face-to-face dialogue. Previous guests through the program include international trade expert Daryl Brehm, former U.S. Ambassador James Moriarty and Danish Ambassador Rolf M.H.P. Holmboe.

If you have any questions about the Martin Forum and related events, contact Erin Damman at

Ambassador Maura Connelly
Ambassador Maura Connelly

The Martin Institute

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