The catastrophic explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on August 4, 2020, struck the heart of a nation already burdened with deeply entrenched challenges. Systemic corruption, an unprecedented financial crisis, a large population of refugees, sectarian divisions across religious and social groups and foreign involvement in Lebanon’s internal affairs have all threatened Lebanon’s viability as a state. Coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, the destruction and social unrest following the Beirut explosion is unraveling the established political order.
In this webinar, Baker Institute Director Ambassador Edward Djerejian analyzed the dire situation in Lebanon and shared his insights into what the future might hold for this beleaguered nation. He also answered questions from viewers.
This event was sponsored by the Baker Institute’s Center for the Middle East. Follow @BakerInstitute on Twitter and join the conversation online with #BakerMiddleEast.
5:30 p.m. — Presentation
6:10 p.m. — Q&A
The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian’s Foreign Service career spanned eight U.S. administrations, from John F. Kennedy to William J. Clinton. Prior to his nomination as U.S. ambassador to Israel, he was assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs in both the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was previously the U.S. ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic. He also served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and as deputy press secretary for foreign affairs in the White House. Following his retirement from government service, Djerejian became the director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. He is the author of Danger and Opportunity: An American Ambassador’s Journey Through the Middle East. He has been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award; the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award; Ellis Island Medal of Honor; the Anti- Defamation League’s Moral Statesman Award; the Award for Humanitarian Diplomacy from Netanya Academic College in Israel; the National Order of the Cedar, bestowed by President Émile Lahoud of Lebanon; the Order of Ouissam Alaouite, bestowed by King Mohammed VI of Morocco; and the Order of Honor, bestowed by President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia. He is also a recipient of the Association of Rice Alumni’s Gold Medal for his service to Rice University. Djerejian is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was a member of the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 2011 to 2019.
Policy Assistant to the Director, Baker Institute