International Relations Institute hosts Gov. Richardson, Cuba affairs expert

April 14, 2008 by Mario Montes NMSU News Center

The International Relations Institute at New Mexico State University has a role of bringing together scholars, diplomats and experts in international relations to stimulate dialogue and understanding of international issues.

And the institute will do so at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 16 at NMSU’s Music Center Recital Hall by presenting Gov. Bill Richardson who will speak about “The Impact of U.S. Foreign Policy on Domestic Issues in New Mexico and Beyond.”

At 4 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at Gerald Thomas Auditorium, the institute will present former U.S. ambassador to Mali Vicki Huddleston to speak on “Foreign Policy Toward Cuba.” Huddleston was the U.S. State Department’s deputy and then director of Cuban affairs from 1989-1993, during former President George H.W. Bush’s presidency. Under President William J. Clinton, Ambassador Huddleston was chief of mission of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba.

Huddleston is a strong believer that improving and opening up relationships with Cuba can only lead to a more cooperative Cuba in its foreign and business relationships.

“I see the International Relations Institute moving forward with meeting its strategy to develop partnerships with faculty, students and New Mexico businesses. Bringing together key diplomats and international relations experts can provide a clearer vision toward understanding the many issues affecting nations. Gov. Richardson is a seasoned diplomat who has been active in resolving difficult issues between countries. His understanding of these issues and his active support for the International Relations Institute will help in positioning NMSU and New Mexico at the forefront of this global society,” said Delano E. Lewis, former U.S. ambassador to South Africa and director of the International Relations Institute.

Huddleston brings exceptional knowledge of Cuban affairs that can be shared toward understanding Cuba after Fidel Castro and can give insight on how the United States might proceed in normalizing relations, Lewis said.

These two important presentations by Richardson and Huddleston are open and free to the public.

“I want NMSU’s International Relations Institute to be an important resource, ready to use its institutional knowledge toward a better understanding of the problems facing the world today,” Lewis said. “Through teaching, research and dialogue, the institute will connect the university and the larger New Mexico community to the world around us.”

The institute’s advisory board members who will attend the April meeting will be former former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Jeffrey Davidow; former assistant director for U.S. Budget Review, Richard Emery; Nick Franklin, senior principal of Public Affairs Dimensions; Margery Krause, president APCO Worldwide; Ken Lehman, managing partner KKP Group; former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa, Princeton Lyman; Tom Tate, commander CEC, USN Retired; C. Payne Lucas, past president of Aficare; and former U.S. ambassador to Mazambique, Sharon Wilkinson.

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