Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series

About the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series:

The Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Lecture Series was established in 2013 by UC Hastings and the Stevens family to honor the memory, life, and work of Chris Stevens, a member of the UC Hastings class of 1989. Chris spent his career in the foreign service building bridges of understanding and mutual respect between the people of the United States and the people of the Middle East. This lecture series brings foreign policy thought leaders to campus to explore how law and public policy are used in practice to advance global understanding and peace. “Gathering experts to discuss law and foreign policy in the promotion of global understanding presents a fitting opportunity to further the legacy of Chris’s style of diplomacy and his life’s work,” said Tom Stevens, Ambassador Stevens’ brother.

Remembering Chris Stevens

Support the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series: Past Speakers


2020

Postponed due to pandemic

2019
Tamara Cofman Wittes
Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institute; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Near Eastern Affairs (2009 — 2012).

Brian Egan
Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (2016-2017); Deputy Counsel to the President, National Security Council Legal Advisor (2013-2016); Special Assistant to the President (2011-2012); National Security Council, Deputy Legal Advisor (2009-2011); Attorney-Adviser, U.S. Department of State (2005-2009)

2018
Ambassador Ryan Crocker
Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University; former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait and Lebanon.

Ambassador Anne Patterson
 Kissinger Senior Fellow, Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs; former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Ambassador to Egypt, Pakistan, Colombia, and El Salvador.

2017
Leila Fadel
Cairo Bureau Chief, NPR; formerly the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Cairo bureau chief for the Washington Post.

2016
Ambassador William J. Burns
President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Deputy Secretary of State.

2015
Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns
Sultan of Oman Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador to NATO and Greece.

Mr. Robert Worth
Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, author (A Rage for Order (2016)).

2014
Ambassador James Jeffrey
Former Ambassador to Iraq, Turkey, and Albania; former Deputy National Security Advisor.

Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann
Former Director of the Iran Iraq office (Director of Northern Gulf Affairs), Ambassador to Bahrain and Afghanistan, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East.

Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
Senior Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry, and former Ambassador to Brazil.

Professor Beth Van Schaack
Fellow at the Center for International Security & Cooperation at Stanford University and former Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State.

Professor Catherine Powell
Associate Professor of Law at the Fordham University School of Law and former Director for Human Rights on the White House National Security Staff.

Professor Jane Stromseth
Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and former Deputy to the Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice at the U.S. Department of State.

Professor Asli Bâli
Assistant Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and former attorney for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and for the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa division.

Professor Sujit Choudhry
Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions at the NYU School of Law.

Professor Clark Lombardi
Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law and Adjunct Professor at the Jackson School of International Studies.

Support the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series: Past Speakers


2020

Postponed due to pandemic

2019
Tamara Cofman Wittes
Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institute; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Near Eastern Affairs (2009 — 2012).

Brian Egan
Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (2016-2017); Deputy Counsel to the President, National Security Council Legal Advisor (2013-2016); Special Assistant to the President (2011-2012); National Security Council, Deputy Legal Advisor (2009-2011); Attorney-Adviser, U.S. Department of State (2005-2009)

2018
Ambassador Ryan Crocker
Dean and Executive Professor at the George Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University; former Ambassador to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait and Lebanon.

Ambassador Anne Patterson
 Kissinger Senior Fellow, Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs; former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, and Ambassador to Egypt, Pakistan, Colombia, and El Salvador.

2017
Leila Fadel
Cairo Bureau Chief, NPR; formerly the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Cairo bureau chief for the Washington Post.

2016
Ambassador William J. Burns
President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Deputy Secretary of State.

2015
Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns
Sultan of Oman Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador to NATO and Greece.

Mr. Robert Worth
Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, author (A Rage for Order (2016)).

2014
Ambassador James Jeffrey
Former Ambassador to Iraq, Turkey, and Albania; former Deputy National Security Advisor.

Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann
Former Director of the Iran Iraq office (Director of Northern Gulf Affairs), Ambassador to Bahrain and Afghanistan, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East.

Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.
Senior Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry, and former Ambassador to Brazil.

Professor Beth Van Schaack
Fellow at the Center for International Security & Cooperation at Stanford University and former Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State.

Professor Catherine Powell
Associate Professor of Law at the Fordham University School of Law and former Director for Human Rights on the White House National Security Staff.

Professor Jane Stromseth
Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and former Deputy to the Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice at the U.S. Department of State.

Professor Asli Bâli
Assistant Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and former attorney for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and for the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa division.

Professor Sujit Choudhry
Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions at the NYU School of Law.

Professor Clark Lombardi
Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law and Adjunct Professor at the Jackson School of International Studies.

Watch the 2021 Lecture Recording: "The Need for More Chris Stevenses"

American international engagement is at a crossroads.  A significant amount of attention and debate is given to the structures and processes needed to recruit, retain and motivate a new generation of American women and men to pursue public service careers in the national security civilian workforce.  As the Biden Administration considers how best to revive the foreign service, reinvigorate the State Department and other national security agencies and institutions, and recalibrate US foreign policy for the intertwined domestic and international challenges we currently face, the human elements of international engagement remain of fundamental importance.  Former Assistant Secretary Wilson and Ambassadors McFaul and Abercrombie-Winstanley draw upon their own extensive experience in foreign policy – and on initiatives in which they are currently involved – to address these issues and to reflect on how Chris Stevens’ life and service exemplified both the challenges and the imperative of personal relationships in international engagement.

Listen to the 2019 Lecture Recording on the Lawfare Podcast

The 2019 lecture featured a panel discussion with Cofman Wittes and Egan, moderated by Professor Chimène Keitner, on U.S. law and policy in the Middle East. The conversation takes a step back from current events to look at the broader strategic landscape following the U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

Support the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series

Donate Here

Support the Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Memorial Lecture Series

Donate Here