NewsWinter 2014

Experts debate Syria at Fairbanks Symposium

Syria-21A new annual symposium at UIndy kicked off October 8 with a foreign policy panel discussion featuring top national experts. “The Great Debate: Is Action in Syria America’s Least Bad Option?” was the opening event of the inaugural Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership, presented by UIndy’s Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives in partnership with Indiana Humanities. Longtime Indiana congressman Lee Hamilton moderated the discussion among panelists Richard Lugar, former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and distinguished professor of Political Science and International Relations at UIndy; Doug Bandow, senior fellow, Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.; Joshua Landis, director, Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University, and president, Syrian Studies Association; and Robert Zarate, policy director, Foreign Policy Initiative, Washington, D.C. The symposium continued October 9 with a series of discussions and presentations on issues facing local leaders and the seemingly lost art of civility in political discourse.

The “Young Guns Roundtable Discussion,” moderated by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, featured three recently elected Indiana mayors younger than 35: South Bend’s Pete Buttigieg, LaPorte’s Blair Milo, and Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes. “Behind the Scenes of City Government,” moderated by former Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Melina Kennedy, included fellow former deputy mayors Michael Huber, Mike O’Connor, Anne Shane, and David Frick. The lunchtime keynote conversation featured Lugar and Buttigieg discussing issues mayors face. The Fairbanks Symposium is supported by an endowment from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

Photo: Robert Zarate of the Foreign Policy Initiative (left) speaks during the panel discussion on U.S. intervention in Syria, which also featured Hoosier statesmen Lee Hamilton (center) and Richard Lugar.

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