Alworth Institute lecture features retired foreign service officer Hanson

Thomas Hanson, a retired U.S. Foreign service officer and Alworth Institute Diplomat in Residence, will discuss the international issues that the second Obama Administration is facing — including those in Syria, Iran, North Korea and China — at 7 p.m. Thursday at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Library 4th Floor Rotunda.

Hanson will also analyze the administration’s own foreign policy agenda. The event is free and open to the public.

“Thomas Hanson’s vast international experiences and expertise bring instant credibility to his thoughtful analysis of the global challenges the Obama Administration faces in its second term,” said Dr. Cindy Christian, Director of the Alworth Institute. :He can cover any international issue from strategic to economic to environmental. He is a favorite of the Alworth Institute’s university and local communities.”

While serving as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, Hanson’s postings included East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and Georgia. He also assisted in opening new embassies in Mongolia and Estonia. Hanson has worked on the Foreign Relations Committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Most recently, he was Director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C. Currently he serves as Program Secretary of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Committee on Foreign Relations and as a lecturer/consultant for the Great Decisions program at the Minnesota International Center. He is an occasional foreign affairs commentator on Minnesota Public Radio. He is on the board of directors for the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights in Minneapolis.

Hanson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in International Relations. He holds graduate degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; the Geneva Institute of Advanced International Studies in Switzerland; and the National School of Administration (ENA) in Paris, France.

The Alworth International Lecture Series provides a series of international lectures by local, national and international authorities on subjects of timely interest. The Alworth Institute draws not only upon the rich store of local academics with expertise in a variety of areas, but also visiting international faculty.

The Royal D. Alworth, Jr. Institute for International Studies (The Alworth Institute) was established in 1987 by the Alworth family to commemorate the life and interests of Royal D. Alworth, Jr. In line with those interests, the Alworth Institute aims to engage students, staff and the wider public in open discussion for educational, social and democratic purposes on a wide range of international issues and of their domestic implications.

The Alworth Institute’s programs include the ongoing International Lecture Series, the weekly International Brown Bag Series, and the annual Memorial Lecture.