Retired U.S. Ambassador David Greenlee to present Birkett Williams Lecture at Ouachita April 5

Ouachita Baptist University will host retired U.S. Ambassador David Greenlee as its Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow during the week of April 3. Greenlee also will present the Birkett Williams Lecture on Tuesday, April 5, which will be held in McBeth Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Greenlee’s visit is coordinated by the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows, a program which brings prominent and diverse professionals to college campuses. During his stay, Greenlee will be leading discussions in both honors and faculty colloquiums, speaking in college classes of various disciplines and presenting the Birkett Williams Lecture.

The Birkett Williams series is held each semester and rotates among Ouachita’s academic schools. The W.H. Sutton School of Social Sciences hosts this semester’s lecture. For the lecture, Greenlee will discuss “Policy and Security Challenges in Latin America: A Broad Look at the Neighborhood.” There will be a short question-and-answer session following his presentation.

“This is a very interesting time in the international arena as the United States develops a 21st century role,” said Dr. Hal Bass, professor of political science at Ouachita. “It’s a much more complicated world than it was in the post-WWII era, and we hope Ambassador Greenlee can help us make sense of it.

“Ambassador Greenlee has served our country long and well in diplomatic posts across the globe,” Bass added. “He brings to our Arkadelphia community his extraordinarily broad and deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities the United States faces in the international arena.”

Greenlee, a retired United States ambassador to Bolivia (2003-06) and Paraguay (2000-03), has spent a total of 32 years in foreign service. Prior to his role as a U.S. ambassador, Greenlee served as U.S. State Department special coordinator for Haiti (1997-99); U.S. official chair for the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (1996-97); U.S. political advisor to the Army Chief of Staff (1995-96); U.S. State Department deputy chief of mission to Spain (1992-95), Chile (1989-92) and Bolivia (1987-89); and as a Peace Corps volunteer to Bolivia (1965-67).

Greenlee retired from foreign service in 2006 and has since consulted with and served the U.S. State Department concerning institutional issues related to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the reorganization of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). He is a member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, the American Academy of Diplomacy, DACOR Inc. and the American Foreign Service Association.

Greenlee is a graduate of Yale University and the National War College, and he served as a U.S. Army first lieutenant in Vietnam (1969-70).

In addition to the Birkett Williams Lecture on Tuesday evening, Greenlee will be available to speak with Ouachita students in the Honors Colloquium from 12-1 p.m. on Monday, April 4, in the Ouachita Commons Alumni Room.

On Tuesday, April 5, Greenlee will have a casual lunch with faculty and staff from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Ouachita Commons.

On Wednesday, April 6, Greenlee will lead the Faculty Colloquium from 12-1 p.m. in Walker Conference Center Room C. He will reflect on his foreign service career, statecraft and diplomacy as well as balancing realism and idealism in furthering U.S. national interests. Lunch will be provided.

Greenlee also will speak in a number of Ouachita classes throughout the week. Discussion topics include 20th century diplomacy, democratization trends in Latin America, economic downturn in Brazil, U.S.-Cuban relations, Africa’s break from Western imperialism and careers in diplomacy, among others.

“There are a lot of things on the university calendar that students make time for,” Bass said. “I hope they will take advantage of this opportunity.”

For more information, contact Dr. Hal Bass at or (870) 245-5361.