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Former National Security Advisor to discuss world events

A week after Condoleezza Rice's scheduled testimony before the 9/11 Panel, her predecessor, former assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Anthony Lake, will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday in Whitaker 303.

Currently Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Services at Georgetown University, Lake served as Assistant to the President (Clinton) for National Security Affairs from 1993-1997.

The main focus of Lake's talk will be the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), a Virginia-based, non-profit international humanitarian organization working to rid severely affected countries of their scourge of mines, where he sits on the board of directors.

"Having Lake on campus brings tremendous awareness of a critical need to demine warring nations," says Bill Hunter, director of the office of international students and scholars. "And, what a tremendous opportunity to have Mr. Lake here to discuss the recent testimony by current National Security Advisor Rice."

Cassie Florian '06, co-president of the World Affairs Club, agrees. "When the people witness someone as high-ranking and as highly esteemed as the past National Security Advisor coming to speak on behalf of a humanitarian effort--in this case, MLI--it gives the cause legitimacy and meaning. Mr. Lake’s visit will also allow us to gain an internal perspective from the top of our nation’s past leadership; this is truly a rare opportunity."

MLI uses highly-trained dogs to detect landmines, and Lehigh recently raised funds to sponsor a dog, "Lehigh," who is currently sniffing out mines in Sri Lanka. The university hopes to raise enough funds for a second dog to locate more mines and save more lives.

Lake's talk is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Club, the Progressive Students' Alliance, and the Global Union--a combination of groups Hunter says is unusual. "While these organizations often find themselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum, they have united to support such a worthwhile cause," he says.

Leigh Ann DiDomenico, '04, vice president of PSA, says, "I hope Mr. Lake's speech opens people's minds to the problem of landmines and the wonderful results of MLI's dog-training. I also hope it inspires people to help with the cause now or later on in life."

Prior to holding his position as Assistant to the President, Lake was Five College Professor of International Relations at Amherst and Mount Holyoke colleges. He joined the State Department in 1962, where he served until 1970 as a Foreign Service Officer. After work with the Muskie Campaign, the Carnegie Endowment and International Voluntary Services, Lake returned to the State Department in 1977 to serve as Director of Policy Planning for President Carter, a position he held until 1981.

--Elizabeth Shimer

Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004

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