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Former diplomats to speak at Notre Dame

| Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice will speak in a forum at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center as part of an event hosted by Notre Dame’s International Security Center, Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy, Common Ground Committee and BridgeND on March 19, the University announced in a press release Tuesday.

The forum is titled “Finding Common Ground on America’s Role in the World” and will be moderated by Howard LaFranchi, a diplomacy correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

“We look forward to a fascinating and productive conversation between Secretaries Rice and Kerry, two experienced leaders in American foreign policy,” Christina Wolbrecht, professor of political science and director of the Rooney Center, said. “The Rooney Center and our partners are delighted to bring this unique and exciting dialogue to Notre Dame to educate and inform the campus community, as well as contribute to pressing national policy debates.”

Rice is a Notre Dame alumna and member of the Republican party, while Kerry is a Democrat. The two will discuss differences in political discourse between the two parties.

A Pew Research study said though 72 percent of the public agree that protecting the United States from terrorism should be an important priority for the country, views on specific foreign policy goals differ between Democrats and Republicans. For example, 70 percent of Republicans believe that military superiority should be a priority for the United States, while only 34 percent of Democrats would agree.

In addition, about 39 percent of Democrats support helping refugees who are fleeing violent home countries, but only 11 percent of Republicans support these actions. The partisan divide on the importance of reducing undocumented immigration is even larger — with 68 percent of Republicans supporting it as a priority, as compared to 20 percent of Democrats.

“Secretaries Kerry and Rice are both exemplars of BridgeND’s mission, and we are thrilled to help bring these two distinguished speakers to Notre Dame’s campus to demonstrate the possibilities of constructive discourse,” Christian McGrew, former president of BridgeND and current executive board member of BridgeUSA, said.

The event will take place from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on March 19 in Debartolo Performing Arts Center. All tickets for the event have been sold.

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