Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will deliver a major address at Lafayette 4 p.m. Monday, April 8. His speech, “Learning and Leading in a Changing World,” will be the College’s Lives of Liberty Lecture for 2012-13.
The event is free but tickets will be required. All tickets are non-transferable, and photo identification will be necessary to enter the venue. (Update: The supply of tickets has been exhausted. The lecture will be televised live in Colton Chapel; no tickets for this are needed.) The location of Blair’s speech will be announced in the future.
Alumni chapters will view the Blair telecast at gatherings in Boston; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Philadelphia; and Cape May Court House, N.J. Learn more and register
Begun in 2007-08, during the College’s yearlong celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Marquis de Lafayette’s birth, the Lives of Liberty Lecture Series features accomplished individuals whose lives embody the ideals of the Marquis in the world today.
A panel discussion, “Tony Blair, Britain, and a Changing World,” will be held 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the Interfaith Chapel of Hogg Hall. Panelists will include government and law faculty members Katalin Fabian, associate professor; Michael Feola, assistant professor; and Seo-Hyun Park, assistant professor.
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 Labour Party (1994-2007) and the member of Parliament for Sedgefield, England (1983-2007).
During his 10 years as prime minister, 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.
Blair is an 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 including climate change, global poverty, Africa, and the Middle East Peace Process. Blair is also widely credited for his contribution towards assisting the Northern Ireland Peace Process by helping jointly to negotiate the Good Friday Agreement and deliver a power-sharing government.
Blair continues to be active in public life, particularly regarding the Middle East. Since leaving Downing Street, he has served as the Quartet Representative to the Middle East. He represents the United States, United Nations, Russia, and the European Union, working with the Palestinians to prepare for statehood as part of the international community’s effort to secure peace.
He has launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation to promote respect and understanding of and between the major religions and to make the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world. The foundation creates opportunities for people of all faiths and none to come together to learn directly from each other and to take joint action on shared humanitarian goals.
The Faiths Act program empowers, supports, and trains young people to take multi-faith action against extreme poverty in support of the Millennium Development Goals, providing an alternative to those who try to use faith as a means to divide. Face to Faith is a global education project for students ages 11-16. Students learn directly from each other through working on joint projects, video-conference exchanges, and an online community. The Faith and Globalisation Initiative is a global network of leading universities, examining the role of faith in the modern world.
The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative helps some of Africa’s most dynamic leaders relieve poverty. Renewing Blair’s commitment to Africa, the organization operates in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, advising President Kagame, President Koroma, President Johnson Sirleaf, and President Conde respectively, with a team of his staff working full time at the center of these governments. By combining Blair’s experience as a leader and reformer, his personal relationships with African leaders, and in-country teams of experts, the Africa Governance Initiative is helping to build the capacity of partners to tackle poverty and attract investment sustainably.
Having been the first major head of government to bring climate change to the top of the international political agenda at the Gleneagles G8 summit in 2005, Blair is now leading the Breaking the Climate Deadlock Initiative, through which he is working with world leaders to bring consensus on a new and comprehensive international climate policy framework.
He has also launched the Tony Blair Sports Foundation, which will increase participation in sport by young people, particularly those who are currently socially excluded—by inspiring more adults to become trained coaches; by providing access to high-quality, nationally accredited training for athletes; and by helping to match coaches with the schools and sports clubs that need them. The foundation worked to ensuring a sporting legacy in the North East for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, which Blair helped to bring to the United Kingdom.
Blair’s memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, was released in September 2010 and made The New York Times best seller list within a week of its release.