Alumnus Tom Shannon ’80, diplomat, former ambassador, former acting United States Secretary and Deputy Secretary of State, returned to his alma mater for three days recently that were instructive and informative for everyone he encountered, but hardly restful.
Shannon delivered an “Insider Insights” talk on the crisis in Venezuela, lectured in a course on policy tools in national security, participated in a dinner seminar led by Associate Government Professor Marcus Holmes and provided advice on student Diplomacy Lab projects. He also delivered a public talk titled “A World of Your Making: How to Think About the 21st Century and Your Role in It.”
Following another lecture, Shannon answered questions from attendees about globalization, authoritarianism and his 35 years in the foreign service. He first highlighted the many changes he has witnessed throughout his career, which spans from the Cold War era to the present and identified what he believes will be the greatest challenges younger generations may face.
“I’ve realized I’ve experienced a world transformed,” he said. “And I’m thankful for it. I have played a small role in the realization of important national goals and the protection and advancement of goals of the United States.”
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