Week Seven lectures study practice of diplomacy, understanding different cultures

Chautauqua focuses on international affairs this week with a series of lectures on the importance and practice of diplomacy.

On the 10:45 a.m. Amphitheater lecture platform, frequent Chautauqua lecturer R. Nicholas Burns, formerly the third-ranking State Department official, opens the week with an introduction to and history of U.S. diplomatic efforts.

Brookings Institution senior fellow Robert Kagan, author of The World America Made, offers remarks on the state of U.S. diplomacy and how the rest of the world relates to America on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Stuart W. Bowen, the U.S. special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, will lecture on lessons learned from America’s decade-long occupation of Iraq.

The Washington Institute’s Dennis Ross, a former special assistant to President Obama, closes the week on Friday with stories from the front lines of Middle East policymaking and peace negotiations.

Week Seven’s Interfaith Lecture Series shines a light on why religion and culture must be at the heart of diplomacy in the 21st century with lecturer Aaron David Miller, who will speak Monday through Friday.

Miller is distinguished scholar in the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has served at the Department of State as an adviser to six secretaries of state, where he helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the senior advisor for Arab-Israeli negotiations.

Miller has also served as the deputy special Middle East coordinator for Arab-Israeli negotiations, senior member of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and in the Office of the Historian. He has received the department’s Distinguished, Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.

Miller’s fourth book is The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace. He was a 10:45 a.m. lecturer and Scholar in Residence at Chautauqua in 2010, having previously lectured at the 2 p.m. Interfaith Lectures in 2009.

To end the week, and to begin a three-day Middle East Update series that crosses into Week Eight — themed “Turkey: Model for the Middle East” — Dennis Ross joins longtime Chautauqua collaborator Geoffrey Kemp at 4 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy. Kemp is director of Regional Security Programs at the Center for the National Interest.