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Longtime Diplomat to Speak at Juniata College about Afghanistan

(Posted March 14, 2005)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Longtime diplomat and former ambassador to Tajikistan R. Grant Smith will lecture on "Afghanistan: Drugs, Thugs and Outsiders" at 4:30 p.m., Monday, March 14 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Politics and the Juniata College Model UN Club with the support of the William G. and Mary A. Nyce Endowment.

Smith, who served as ambassador to Tajikistan from 1995 to 1998, is currently a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University's Central Asia Caucasus Institute. In his time in Tajikistan, Smith represented the United States during the negotiation and implementation of the peace accords ending the country's civil war. He followed his posting as ambassador by becoming Diplomat in Residence at the Peacekeeping Institute of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa..

He retired in 2000 but returned to active duty in 2003 as a senior adviser in the state department's Bureau of European Affairs and then worked as Acting Political Adviser to the Commander of Coalition Forces in Afghanistan.

During his 38-year career in the Department of State, Smith worked primarily in South Asia, including postings in Pakistan, Nepal, and India. Earlier in his career he served in the Central African Republic and Belize. He also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State For International Narcotics And Law Enforcement from 1991 to 1994.

Smith earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and earned a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.