Last Updated November 21, 2008

Speeches on Campus

Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma
November 18, 2008

Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma spoke before a crowd of more than 500 about the future of Bolivian-U.S. relations under the new Obama administration. Morales was elected to Bolivia's highest office in December 2005 with nearly 54 percent of the vote, becoming the country’s first indigenous head of state. He increased his majority in a referendum in August 2008, winning 67 percent of the vote. President Morales was in Washington to speak at the Organization of American States.
Watch Video (Part 1 - approx. 50 min)
Watch Video (Part 2 - approx. 40 min)

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School of International Service Breaks Ground on "Green" Building
November 14, 2007

Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, American University President Neil Kerwin, SIS Dean Louis Goodman and many others spoke before a crowd of hundreds as ground was broken officially for the innovative new home of the School of International Service, a “green” building that has been designed to reduce energy consumption and minimize construction waste.
Watch Video (approx. 60 min)
Mp3 Download Listen to the Audio (54MB)

President Jimmy Carter: Speech on Sudan/Darfur
October 24, 2007

Former President Jimmy Carter

Former President of the United States Jimmy Carter spoke about the Elders Mission to Sudan and the growing conflict in Darfur. From Sept. 29 through Oct. 4, the Elders visited Khartoum, Juba, and Darfur to listen and learn about Sudan’s conflicts.
(text of speech)
Watch Video (approx. 50 min)
Mp3 Download Listen to the Audio (54MB)

Islam & the West: Steps to Achieving a Lasting, Peaceful Dialogue
January 19, 2007

Prince Turki Al-Faisal

His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States, discussed steps to achieving a lasting, peaceful dialogue between the Islamic world and the west at American University's School of International Service. (text of speech)

Protection of the Environment from an Interfaith Perspective
December 4 , 2006

Akbar Ahmed

A panel of religious experts, moderated by Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, and presented by The Kennedy Political Union, concluded that climate change is one issue that affects everyone, rich or poor, regardless of creed, and that caring for the environment and tackling climate change is the common ground on which all of earth's religions can stand together.
Mp3 Download (87MB) Panelists included:

Rt. Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, UK
Rajwant Singh, Chairman, Sikh Council on Religion and Education
Rebecca Kneale Gould, Associate Professor Religion & Environmental Studies, Middlebury College

Senator John F. Kerry
May 11, 2006

Senator John Kerry

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) spoke at American University about patriotism and dissent at a time of war and the assault on free speech in America today. Kerry is the junior United States Senator from Massachusetts. Mp3 Download (43MB) (text of speech)

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan
March 23, 2006

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, discussed Afghanistan's strategic objectives for the next five years as outlined in the Interim Afghanistan National Development Strategy From 1992 to 1996 he was the Chief of Staff and Spokesperson for the Defense Ministry in Afghanistan. Dr. Abdullah served as Foreign Minister and Deputy Foreign Minister from 1997 to 2006. Mp3 Download (58MB)

President Jimmy Carter
September 19, 2005

President Carter

Former President of the United States Jimmy Carter participated in a town hall-style discussion with students, staff and faculty Monday, Sept. 19 in Bender Arena. The event came on a day when Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III presented the final report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform to President Bush, Congress, and the public. The report has 87 specific recommendations on how to improve the U.S. electoral system. Following a brief summary of the report, Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, answered questions from the audience. (text of speech)

President Jimmy Carter and Fmr. Sec. of State James Baker
April 18, 2005

President Jimmy Carter and Fmr. Sec. of State James Baker

American University's Center for Democracy and Election Management is honored to organize the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III. The Commission of twenty-one members is both bipartisan and non-partisan. During the next six months, it will examine the state of the electoral process in the United States and offer recommendations on improving it. (meeting transcripts)

Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Breyer
January 13, 2005

Antonin Scalia

Stephen Breyer

American Weekly -- Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer, nearly a quarter of the United States’ most powerful judicial body, indulged in an engaging and enlightening conversation on the impact foreign legal decisions should have on U.S. constitutional law.

With scores watching in person, hundreds of others viewing via remote feed in adjoining classrooms, and thousands more across the country tuning in to watch live on C-SPAN, American University became for 90 minutes the epicenter of the legal universe. (full transcript)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
March 18, 2004

Desmond Tutu

Human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his work against apartheid in South Africa, spoke at 8:15 p.m., Thursday, March 18 in Bender Arena at American University. The Kennedy Political Union sponsored Tutu's visit. (text of speech)

Mikhail Gorbachev
September 30, 2003

Mikhail Gorbachev

Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev gave a lecture about "International Cooperation in a Post September 11th World" on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003, in Bender Arena at American University. Gorbachev led the Soviet Union from 1985 – 1991. During his tenure he improved the country’s relationship with the United States, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his contribution to easing East-West tensions. The Kennedy Political Union sponsored Gorbachev's visit. (text of speech)

President Bill Clinton
September 15, 1997

Bill Clinton

President Clinton summarized his administration's achievements since his first term in 1992 and described his vision for the America of the 21st century. The country has witnessed much economic improvement in terms of budget deficit, trade, job generation and educational investments. For the last quarter of 1997, he emphasizes the need for equity in accessing higher education, as well as, to improve the country's performance in elementary and secondary education. He supports the retention of Social Security and Medicare, and stands firm in his commitment to end all traces of racism. (text of speech)

Nobel Laureate F.W. de Klerk
November 8, 1994

Nobel Laureate F.W. de Klerk

Frederik Willem de Klerk was born in Johannesburg on March 18, 1936. In February 1989, de Klerk was elected leader of the National Party of South Africa and in September 1989 he was elected State President. In his first speech after assuming the party leadership he called for a nonracist South Africa and for negotiations about the country's future. He lifted the ban on the ANC and released Nelson Mandela. He brought apartheid to an end and opened the way for the drafting of a new constitution for the country based on the principle of one person, one vote. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1993 to Nelson R. Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa. F.W. de Klerk was a Kennedy Political Union speaker on November 8, 1994 (text of speech)

President Bill Clinton
February 26, 1993

Bill Clinton

Soon after he took office, President Clinton addressed American University's Centennial Convocation. In his speech, Clinton focused on the economic leadership America must exert at home and abroad as a new global economy unfolds. (text of speech)