During an April visit to Armenia to attend an award ceremony and meet with the country's leaders, Baker Institute Director Edward Djerejian spoke to students at the American University of Armenia. The university’s news and events office posted the following report of the ambassador’s lecture:
On April 28, Ambassador Edward Djerejian spoke to students enrolled in an undergraduate policy course at the American University of Armenia. The lecture was followed by a Q&A session with the students, moderated by Dr. Arpie Balian.
Introduced by AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian, Ambassador Djerejian gave a lecture and motivational discussion about career building, success and diplomacy. He briefly introduced himself as the son of an Armenian Genocide survivor and noted that his native language is Armenian. The ambassador shared stories, experiences and valuable lessons from his career as a U.S. diplomat. In addition, he highlighted the interesting transition from being the U.S. Ambassador to Syria to his next post as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
Ambassador Djerejian highlighted the importance of doing everything to succeed in any career. In the field of diplomacy, there are careerists and diplomats, he said. Careerists aim at higher positions, while diplomats stand up for their values, principles and beliefs.
“No matter what career you get into, be true to yourself in what you believe, do your homework, but follow your heart and mind,” he said.
During the Q&A session, he covered the importance of the United States and Israel recognizing the Armenian Genocide, and how the issue of genocide can only be resolved by direct engagement of the current Turkish and Armenian Republics in order to reach resolution. He also addressed his personal and political opinions on the recent breach of ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Ambassador Djerejian is the director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. His career in the U.S. Foreign Service spanned the administrations of eight presidents, from John F. Kennedy to William J. Clinton. He is a leading expert on national security, foreign policy, and the complex political, security, economic, religious and ethnic issues of the Middle East and South Asia. Prior to his nomination as U.S. ambassador to Israel, he served both President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs and President Ronald Reagan and President Bush as U.S. ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic.
He holds a bachelor of science and a doctor of humane letters, honoris causa, from Georgetown University, as well as a doctor of laws, honoris causa, from Middlebury College. Ambassador Djerejian has been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, the President’s Meritorious Service Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Moral Statesman Award, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He is also a recipient of the Association of Rice Alumni’s Gold Medal for his service to the university. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Photos courtesy of the American University of Armenia.
Click here to read Ambassador Djerejian's interview with the Armenian media outlet MediaMax, posted May 4, 2016.