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Race, Diplomacy, and National Security

08/05/2020 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM MT


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Race & Justice in World Affairs: Part 1

Ambassador Charles Ray served our country for 20 years in the US army and 30 years as a diplomat. He fought in the Vietnam War and returned to serve as the first-ever Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City. He was appointed Ambassador to Cambodia by President Bush and Ambassador to Zimbabwe by President Obama. Drawing on his five decades of experience, Ambassador Ray will discuss the importance to our foreign policy and national security of combating systemic racism and building a more diverse foreign service.

This event is free and open to the community.

About Our Speaker

Ambassador (retired) Charles Ray

Charles Ray retired from the US Foreign Service after a 30-year career. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he spent 20 years in the US Army, retiring with the rank of Major. During his army career, he did two tours in Vietnam, served in Military Intelligence, Special Operations and Public Affairs, with assignments in Germany, Korea, Vietnam, and Panama, as well as several posts in the United States.

During his 30 years in the Foreign Service, he was posted to China, Thailand, Sierra Leona, Vietnam, Cambodia and Zimbabwe. He served as deputy chief of mission in Sierra Leone, was the first US consul general in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and served as ambassador to Cambodia and Zimbabwe. In 2005, he was diplomat in residence at the University of Houston (TX), and from 2006 to 2009 served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs and director of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office.

Since his retirement from public service in 2002, he has been a fulltime freelance writer, lecturer and consultant, and has done research on leadership and ethics. He is the author of more than 60 books of fiction and nonfiction. His most recent book is Ethical Dilemmas and the Practice of Diplomacy, which addresses the gray area of conflicting values in the diplomatic service. He is a frequent contributor to several online news sites, and is an avid photographer and artist whose work has appeared in a number of publications. Each summer he conducts a workshop on professional writing for Rangel Scholars at Howard University.

He is a member of AFSA, a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy, and is director of communications for the Association of Black American Ambassadors.


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