Blake Wood
Publish Date

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield will host former U.S. Ambassador Charles Ray who will speak about a new report, “Blueprints for a More Modern U.S. Diplomatic Service.” The report includes recommendations on ways the United States can improve its diplomacy. The program is sponsored by the UIS School of Politics and International Affairs and the World Affairs Council of Central Illinois. The event is open to the public.

WHEN: 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25

WHERE: UIS Public Affairs Center, Third Floor, Room 3F

DETAILS: During his 30 years in the Foreign Service, Ray was posted to China, Thailand, Sierra Leone, Vietnam, Cambodia and Zimbabwe. He served as deputy chief of mission in Sierra Leone, was the first U.S. consul general in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and served as ambassador to Cambodia and Zimbabwe. In 2005, he was a diplomat in residence at the University of Houston, and from 2006 to 2009 served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs and director of the defense POW/Missing Personnel Office.

“Blueprints for a More Modern US Diplomatic Service” is an actionable guide for producing operationally significant changes in the ways the United States organizes and executes its diplomacy developed by Arizona State University’s Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab. The Blueprints draw on the recommendations developed by several hallmark reports and focus on four concrete action areas.

Since his retirement from public service in 2012, Ray has been a full-time freelance writer, lecturer and consultant, and has done research on leadership and ethics. He is the author of more than 200 books of fiction and nonfiction. His book “Ethical Dilemmas and the Practice of Diplomacy” addresses the gray area of conflicting values in the diplomatic service.

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