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Tony Blair to deliver Tufts University's Fares Lecture

Tony Blair to deliver Tufts University's Fares LectureFormer Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tony Blair is set to deliver the 2009 Issam M. Fares Lecture.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [01.15.09] Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tony Blair will deliver the 2009 Issam M. Fares Lecture at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Tufts University's Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center in Medford.

"We are honored that Tony Blair will deliver the next Fares Lecture," said Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow. "This distinguished series brings to Tufts the most important figures in contemporary public affairs. Mr. Blair can offer unique insights into the critical challenges of our era from his experience as prime minister and from his current role as the representative of the 'Quartet' -- the United Nations, the United States, Russia, and the European Union -- to the Middle East."

Ticket information for the Fares lecture

Tickets will be distributed to members of the Tufts community via an online lottery system, beginning the week of January 26 and by invitation only to members of the community at large.

Arts, Sciences & Engineering undergraduate and graduate students will receive detailed information about tickets from the Dean of Student Affairs office. Arts, Sciences & Engineering faculty and staff and central staff should contact Jillian Dubman, secretary of the faculty, for details. All other schools' students, faculty and staff, should contact their respective dean's office for ticket distribution details.

Members of the news media should contact the Tufts Public Relations Office at 617-627-4703 for information on obtaining media credentials.

Following his remarks, Mr. Blair will answer a selection of questions submitted by the Tufts community. Tufts University faculty, staff and students are invited to send in their questions for his consideration. Please submit questions by email to

Distinguished leader and diplomat

Mr. Blair served as prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from May 1997 to June 2007. He was also the leader of Britain's Labor Party (1994 to 2007) and the member of Parliament for Sedgefield, England (1983 to 2007). He is currently serving as the Middle East Quartet representative. The quartet is made up of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia.

During his ten years as prime minister, Tony Blair transformed Britain's public services through a program of investment and reform in schools and hospitals, resulting in more children achieving better school results and more people receiving faster access to health care, with improved survival rates for cancer and coronary heart disease.

In the United States, he received widespread recognition for his support for America after the tragedy of 9/11. Mr. Blair has always been a strong advocate of a values-based, activist, and multilateralist foreign policy - an agenda that combined tackling terrorism and intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Sierra Leone with action on issues like climate change, global poverty, Africa, and the Middle East Peace Process.

Mr. Blair is widely credited for his contribution toward assisting the Northern Ireland Peace Process by helping jointly to negotiate the Good Friday Agreement and deliver a power-sharing government.

A lecture series designed to promote understanding of the Middle East

The Issam M. Fares Lecture at Tufts University is supported by an endowment from the Issam M. Fares family through the WEDGE Foundation that enables Tufts to implement a program for promoting Middle Eastern studies in the humanities, social sciences and arts, including history, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, demographic studies and languages.

The Issam M. Fares Lecture series began at Tufts in 1993. Past speakers have included George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Madeleine Albright, James A. Baker, III, Colin Powell, Hillary Rodham Clinton and George Mitchell.

Tufts' Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, sponsor of the Issam M. Fares Lecture, opened in 2002. Its mission is to create an academic environment that promotes a greater understanding of the rich heritage of the Eastern Mediterranean, and of the significant challenges that this region faces at the beginning of the twenty-first century.


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