U.S. Ambassador Visits Campus

On Thursday, April 21, students in an introductory international affairs course had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by

Allan Katz, the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal


U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Allan Katz visited UC last week.

U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Allan Katz visited UC last week.

Katz came to the University of Cincinnati to discuss “American Diplomacy after Wikileaks” with the international affairs students.

“It was a great pleasure to have U.S. Ambassador Allen Katz speak to UC students about the conduct of U.S. diplomacy in a Wikileaks world,” says Richard Harknett, professor in the

Department of Political Science

in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

“Ambassador Katz explained how the leaking of U.S. documents hinders U.S. diplomacy on several levels: One, it undermines the diplomat’s ability to be candid in assessments of foreign governments—and being candid is necessary to assist policymakers in Washington with an accurate picture of the world; Two, it reduces trust with foreign governments when they speak to the U.S. if they are concerned their discussions will not remain confidential—and trust is essential in diplomacy; And third, it can endanger individuals and plans in countries in which conflict is occurring or where authoritarian regimes might react against human rights activists, for example. Ambassador Katz stressed that in a democracy, knowledge of policy is essential, but that a strong free press can keep the public informed without creating these three bad outcomes.”

Following his talk, students asked questions about Wikileaks, Katz’s career in federal government and life in Lisbon.

After the lecture, Katz had lunch with several political science and international affairs students and discussed his life as an ambassador. “The students really enjoyed the conversation,” Harknett says.

Katz also discussed “From History Major to Ambassador: Thoughts on History and Public Service” later that afternoon at the

Charles Phelps Taft Research Center

as part of the

Department of History

’s “History Out There” series.

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