Georgetown Hosts Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen for Talk on Modern Diplomacy

Apr 22, 2019

On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen,  H. E. Barbara Bodine, delivered a public lecture at GU-Q, titled “Diplomacy in an Era of Disruption, Discontinuity, and Discord.” The talk, which was co-sponsored by the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs for the State of Qatar (MOFA), took a sweeping look at history to show how the new global order that emerged following the devastation of World War II no longer fits current realities, requiring new diplomatic tools and a new approach to multilateral relationships to address the many crises and conflicts unfolding around the globe.

Remarking on the lecture, the Dean of GU-Q, Dr. Ahmad Dallal, said: “We were excited to offer the community in Qatar a unique opportunity to learn about the role of diplomatic statecraft in international relations from a leader who has been at the helm during some of the most critical events in the Middle East’s recent history. Ambassador Bodine’s invaluable insights offered an understanding of the application of theory to practice, and enhanced our appreciation of the critical role of diplomacy as a tool of national policy.”

Speaking as a distinguished veteran of the American diplomatic corps and an expert who has directed policy task forces and taught policy workshops all over the world, Ambassador Bodine answered the question of how to shape a new order that preserves the benefits and the aspirations of the old order while addressing its failures, and the tools that will be required to do so, before it is too late.

In her lecture, she argued that the post-WWII era was effective in stopping a third world war, and witnessed dramatic changes in the colonial system, and the end of global empires. Concomitantly, increased economic prosperity and the rise of disruptive new technologies during this period had positive effects but have not served all people and regions equally.

Technology and economic power have in some cases been weaponized, and present new threats that have empowered autocratic actors and incited violence. New strategies are needed to once more allow states and societies to collaborate effectively toward common goals and against common threats, as a path to a more stable and prosperous future for all.

Ambassador Bodine, who is also a Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., recently taught an intensive course on Crisis Management at the Diplomatic Institute to government leaders and advisors from MOFA, the Ministry of Defense, the General Command, and the Emiri Diwan. The course was offered  through GU-Q’s Executive and Professional Education Program.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Discusses Modern Diplomacy

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