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Shell Distinguished Lecture Series: An Address by Secretary of State John Kerry

Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy hosted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry April 26 for a private address on the role of religion in foreign policy. 

Secretary Kerry's full remarks may be viewed here:

  • A transcript of his address and the Q&A session that followed is here
  • The Washington Post and the Houston Chronicle (subscription required), among other news outlets, covered the secretary's remarks.

This event was part of the Shell Distinguished Lecture Series.

Current Rice students, faculty and staff and Baker Institute Roundtable and Emerging Leaders members were invited to attend, but the event was not open to the general public. For information about the Baker Institute Roundtable and how to become a member, please contact Starr Dickerson, assistant director of development, by phone at 713.348.8087 or by email at The Kerry event was open to University-level members and above. 

Join the conversation online with #BakerKerry.





David W. Leebron
President, Rice University


The Honorable James A. Baker, III
Honorary Chair, Baker Institute

Featured Speaker

The Honorable John F. Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State

Question and Answer Session

Moderator: Douglas Brinkley, Ph.D., Presidential Historian and Professor of History, Rice University



John Kerry was sworn in as secretary of state Feb. 1, 2013, becoming the first sitting U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman to become secretary in over a century. During his tenure, he helped negotiate a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, an agreement with Russia to remove Syria’s chemical weapons, the multinational COP21 climate-change agreement and resolutions to election disputes in Afghanistan and Nigeria.

Kerry joined the State Department after 28 years in the Senate, where he assumed a leadership role on key U.S. foreign policy and national security issues. He authored and passed major legislation on international drug trafficking, international money laundering and humanitarian aid, and helped negotiate the United Nation’s genocide tribunal to prosecute war crimes in Cambodia. He also served as a member of the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, working across party lines to try to reduce the country’s debt. Kerry was the Democratic Party’s nominee for U.S. president in 2004.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Kerry received a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with Combat V device, and three Purple Hearts during two tours of duty in Vietnam. Back in the United States, he began a lifelong fight for veterans as co-founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America and as a U.S. senator who worked to secure veterans’ benefits and to learn the truth about American soldiers missing in Vietnam. Kerry received his law degree from Boston College Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.




Tue, April 26, 2016
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central

Event has ended


Shepherd School of Music, Stude Concert Hall
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77005
United States

Rice University