Lugar Diplomacy Series hosts Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

Washington, D.C.
October 18, 2017

Reports of Russian meddling in Europe as well as the U.S., tensions over North Korea, President Trump’s de-certification of the Iranian nuclear deal and continuing turmoil in the Middle East were among the topics in the news for the appearance of former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Lugar Diplomacy Series Oct. 18, 2017.

Secretary Hagel, a former Republican Senator from Nebraska who served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave a tour d’horizon of global hotspots and held a wide-ranging discussion with more than a dozen foreign diplomats during the 90-minute session.

As with all Lugar Diplomacy Series events, the talk was off-the-record to facilitate open and candid commentary on sensitive foreign policy and national security topics. The Lugar Diplomacy Series was launched in October 2016 to strengthen diplomatic relationships and to provide diplomats with important insights into the U.S. government and policy from leading American figures in both domestic and international affairs.

Secretary Hagel, who was named to run the Pentagon by Democratic President Barack Obama, served with Senator Lugar on the Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years. “He was one of the best informed, most insightful, and most respected members in the history of our Committee,” Sen. Lugar noted during his opening remarks.   

Sen. Lugar added, “One of the additional benefits of having Chuck with us today is to hear from a leader who exemplified bipartisan ideals.  As many of you know, one of the Lugar Center’s missions is to work on behalf of a more bipartisan approach to governance in the United States.  Chuck Hagel showed over the course of his career how to make that approach work for his constituents and our country.”

Sec. Hagel was the second speaker in this season’s Lugar Diplomacy Series, which launched in September with an appearance by former White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten.  Speakers in the first season were former CIA director David Petraeus, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, philanthropist and global agriculture expert Howard Buffett, and former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden.

The meeting with Sec. Hagel was held at the downtown Washington offices of the Lugar Diplomacy Series co-sponsor Meridian Institute, a non-profit that brings diverse interests together to solve global problems. It was also sponsored by Abbott and DuPont.