The Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville is hosting Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, the U.S. State Department’s Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma,Thur., Jan. 26.
Mitchell will be the first speaker for CAD’s inaugural Annual Lecture on Asian Democracy, according to a news release.
The topic will be “Reform in the ‘Golden Land’: U.S. Policy and Perspectives on Change in Burma.” Burma also is known as Myanmar.
Mitchell will talk about his recent work advancing the democratization of Burma and give an assessment of the reform process at this key time in the United State’s relations with the country.
Burma has been in the national and local news lately as the Southeast Asian nation normalizes relations with the U.S. and the West, moving rapidly toward democracy from military dictatorship.
Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell was in Burma last week, meeting with legendary Burmese democracy leader and national assembly candidate Aung San Suu Kyi, part of a long list of U.S. government representatives including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who have visited Burma recently.
From the CAD news release:
Since its 2010 elections, the new government in Burma has embarked on a reform process that has seen opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Sun Kyi freed from house arrest, a historic ceasefire ending the country’s longest running ethnic conflict and the release of hundreds of prominent political activists and dissidents.
”The recent events in Burma are unprecedented and have taken everyone by surprise. Having Ambassador Mitchell give us a firsthand view of history in the making is an extraordinary privilege for the University of Louisville,” said Jason Abbott, director of the Center for Asian Democracy.
Mitchell previously oversaw the Defense Department’s security policy in Northeast, Southeast, South and Central Asia as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs from April 2009 to August 2011. He was special assistant for Asian and Pacific affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1997 to 2001.
Mitchell is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. with a cocktail reception to follow.
The event is at the PNC Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Entrance to the PNC Club is at 2800 S. Floyd St., Gate 2A.
The event is free and ample parking available, according to the release.
For more information, email Amanda LeDuke, CAD program coordinator at amanda.leduke(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)louisville.edu, or call 502- 852-2667 for more information.