SUNY Fredonia Welcomes Alumnus, Former U.S. Ambassador

James B. Foley

FREDONIA — The State University at Fredonia will welcome back James B. Foley, alumnus and former U.S. ambassador, for a Writers@Work residency and series of events from Nov. 8-10, co-sponsored by the Fredonia Convocation series.

Foley received a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in French and political science from the State College at Fredonia in 1979. He is also a graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris (C.E.P in International Relations, 1980) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University (M.A.L.D. in International Relations and Security Studies, 1984).

Over the course of three decades in the Foreign Service, Foley served as Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Senior Coordinator of Iraqi refugee issues, Ambassador to the Republic of Haiti and U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He has worked closely with five secretaries of state and conducted negotiations with heads of government and multilateral organizations around the world.

Foley, a member of the U.S. Foreign Service since 1983, will give a talk, “Democracy’s Fate in an Unjust World: Lessons from a Lifetime in Diplomatic Services,” on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., in the Science Center’s Kelly Family Auditorium. Virginia Horvath, SUNY Fredonia president, will introduce Foley. A reception in the Science Center Atrium will follow his address.

Promotion of U.S. democratic values was a centerpiece of American diplomacy for most of the past century. Foley spent three decades at the frontlines of this effort as a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service. His experience with the difficulties, pitfalls and impediments to democratic governance around the world has relevance to the apparent crisis enveloping America’s democratic institutions.

In his remarks, Foley will draw upon his diplomatic service in Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Europe to examine democracy’s uncertain fate and the unprecedented challenges the U.S. now faces both at home and abroad.

In the Science Center’s Kelly Family Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m., Foley will lead a student-writing workshop, “Writing and Public Communication in the Diplomatic Arena.” Students will have the opportunity to learn how different forms of writing contribute to the work of the Foreign Service. The event, which will also address the role of media, is intended for students interested in writing and the Foreign Service, is co-sponsored by the American Democracy Project as well as the Fredonia Democracy Initiative. A reception in Fenton Hall Room 127 will follow the workshop.

Foley will host open office hours for any current Fredonia students wishing to speak further with him from 3:30 to 5 p.m., also in Fenton Hall Room 127.

All Writers@Work events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m. in King Concert Hall, Foley will speak during Fredonia Exploration Day, sharing his experiences as a Fredonia alumnus and as a U.S. Ambassador.

Sponsors of Writers@Work include: Fredonia Convocation, Fredonia Alumni Association, Faculty Student Association, the Fredonia College Foundation’s Carnahan Jackson Fund for the Humanities and The Mary Louise White Fund. Campus partners include: the departments of Biology, Business Administration, Communication, English, Politics and International Affairs, and Theatre and Dance, as well as Admissions, Alumni Affairs, Career Development Office and the foundation.

For more information on this Writers@Work event, please visit: https://events.fredonia.edu/event/writerswork — former — us — ambassador — jim — foley.

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