US Assistant Secretary of State Speaks to IR StudentsThe Department of International Relations welcomed US Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Esther Brimmer on March 26. Dr. Brimmer, who was appointed to the position in 2009, heads the Bureau of International Organizations Affairs, which strives to advance US interests in the context of US participation in international organizations dealing with areas including human rights, peacekeeping, food security and climate change.
The lecture, which was part of Prof. YĂŒksel Ä°nan\'s IR 305 International Organizations class, was also attended by second-year IR graduate students as well as Board of Trustees President Prof. Ali DoÄramacÄ±.
Dr. Brimmer started the talk by characterizing US foreign policy during Barack Obama\'s presidency to this point as an \"era of engagement\" and referring to US leadership at the United Nations. She went on to emphasize the fact that today, more than ever, any one country\'s economy or security is intertwined with that of the rest of the globe. Many contemporary threats and challenges, such as nuclear proliferation, attacks on human rights and terrorism, are faced together by the United States, Turkey and the rest of the international community. Turning to regional issues, Dr. Brimmer spoke about the recent developments in Syria and also Iran\'s nuclear program.
In the last part of her presentation, Dr. Brimmer discussed the long history of partnership between the United States and Turkey, mentioning US support for Turkey\'s EU accession and underlining the importance that the US places on its strong partnership with Turkey and its belief that Turkey\'s increasing leadership role serves to strengthen that partnership.
Dr. Brimmer then answered questions from students regarding recent political developments, Turkey-US relations, environmental issues and regional issues. In turn, she asked about their views on freedom of speech and freedom of thought in Turkey. At the end of the lecture, Prof. DoÄramacÄ± made brief remarks thanking Dr. Brimmer.