Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security advisor to Obama, to speak at IU Bloomington

  • Feb. 13, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: This release was updated on Feb. 16, 2017, to correct the time and title of Ben Rhodes' talk.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Hutton Honors College at Indiana University Bloomington will host Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security advisor to President Barack Obama, as part of its “Many Worlds, One Globe” multiyear series.

Rhodes’ talk, “America’s Role in the World,” will take place at 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at the Solarium in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Serving as deputy national security advisor from 2009 to 2017, Rhodes oversaw the president’s national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He played a key role in advancing engagement with Burma, Laos and Vietnam, as well as leading negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He previously served former Congressman Lee Hamilton, supporting his work on the 9/11 Commission and the Iraq Study Group. Rhodes currently serves as senior advisor to Obama. 

"If anyone is interested in working in the White House, they would benefit from listening to Ben Rhodes; he worked there for eight years," said Hamilton, a faculty member in the IU School of Global and International Studies. "He was a major advisor to the president and wrote many of his speeches. Ben listens carefully, distills the essence of what he hears and writes it down clearly. If called for, he provides his own perspective."

Rhodes’ talk joins a 2017 "Many Worlds, One Globe" schedule that will also feature Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, co-creators of the award-winning podcast Serial, on March 31; and Irshad Manji, founder of Moral Courage TV, on Oct. 2 and 3.

During the next four years, the series will offer lectures from IU faculty and outside speakers on topics including the changing role of women in a global society, the conflict between national economies and their global expansions, the dual role of technology as a unifier or a divider, and the impact of the environment on a global society. “Many Worlds, One Globe” programs are offered in partnership with schools and units across the IU Bloomington campus and are free and open to the public.

About Hutton Honors College: The Hutton Honors College at Indiana University Bloomington recruits diverse, talented and highly motivated students whose presence on campus serves to enhance the education of all undergraduates. By offering a range of small, challenging courses along with a variety of extracurricular and service programs, Hutton Honors College strives to ensure an enriched academic and social experience for its students and to create an environment that fosters active, innovative learning. These opportunities, which include a close working relationship with some of IU's top faculty, affirm its commitment to providing its students with both the intimacy of a small college and the breadth of a large, pluralistic and distinguished research institution.

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