Frank Wisner, former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, will deliver remarks on “The U.S., Europe and the Crises in the Middle East” at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium at the FedEx Global Education Center at UNC.
Following his remarks, Wisner will participate in a roundtable discussion that will include David Litt, former U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and Klaus Larres, Richard M. Krasno Distinguished Professor of History at UNC.
Wisner’s diplomatic career spans four decades. He served as ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines and India during his extensive career in the Department of State. In addition to his role as ambassador, he has served as undersecretary of defense for policy, undersecretary of state for international security affairs and senior deputy assistant secretary for African affairs. After graduating from Princeton University in 1961, Wisner joined the state department as a foreign service officer. His first postings were in Algiers and Vietnam before working as a senior diplomat in Tunisia and Bangladesh. He returned to Washington as director of plans and management in the Bureau of Public Affairs and then joined the President’s Interagency Task Force on Indochina, the entity responsible for evacuating and settling nearly one million refugees, and served as its deputy director.
Later, as director of the Office of Southern African Affairs, Wisner worked closely with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to launch negotiations with Zimbabwe and Namibia. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed Wisner as the U.S. special representative to the Kosovo Status Talks in 2005, where he played a crucial role in negotiating Kosovo’s independence, and he was sent to Egypt by President Barack Obama in 2011 to negotiate a resolution to the protests against the government. Wisner served as vice chairman of external affairs for American International Group before his current role as foreign affairs adviser for Patton Boggs, where he provides clients with strategic global advice concerning business, politics and international law.
Published September 10, 2013.