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Christopher W. Murray, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Congo, discusses foreign policy issues facing President Obama in an address at Lawrence University as part of a three-day visit to his alma mater.

A 1975 graduate of Lawrence, Ambassador Murray presents “The Obama Foreign Policy: Challenges Past, Present, and Future,” Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. in Thomas A. Steitz Hall of Science, Room 102. The event is free and open to the public.

Murray was confirmed as ambassador in August 2010 and joined the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville a month later.

During a 30-year Foreign Service career, Ambassador Murray has served the Department of State in positions around the world. Immediately prior to his ambassador appointment, he spent three years as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels. From 2004 to 2007, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, and directed the evacuation of 15,000 Americans from the country during the summer war of 2006.

Other overseas assignments included four years (1999-2003) at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria as Chief of the Political Section and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, Algeria.

“Ambassador Murray has been at the heart of some of the most important areas of international politics, having been posted to the EU in Brussels, working on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation, and also serving in Beirut, Algeria and Syria,” said Claudena Skran, professor of government and Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science. “As a Lawrence graduate and government major who speaks four languages, his career really exemplifies the value of his Lawrence education.”

Fluent in Arabic, Dutch and French, he began his career as a political officer in the Office of NATO Affairs and as country officer for Somalia. He later oversaw Middle Eastern matters in the Office for U.N. Political Affairs.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in government from Lawrence, Ambassador Murray earned a J.D. from Cornell University Law School.

In addition to his public address, during his campus stay Ambassador Murray will meet with students to discuss Foreign Service and international careers as well as visit classes in the anthropology and government departments.