Students question former Secretary of State on foreign policy

A panel of students questioned Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher at a Parents’ Association event Tuesday night in Hamilton Gym.

The event, entitled “International Flashpoints: An Interview with Warren Christopher,” featured questions from a student panel moderated by upper school history teacher Dr. David Waterhouse.

Several students asked about the Middle East and international organizations like the United Nations.

In response to foreign policy questions, Christopher said repeatedly that he believed in the power of diplomacy and preferred to avoid military confrontation.

Christopher was appointed Chairman of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department in the aftermath of the Rodney King incidents.

He served as the 63rd Secretary of State from 1993 to 1997 during the first term of President Bill Clinton’s administration, as the Deputy Secretary of State and is presently a senior partner at O’Melveny and Myers.

Christopher is also Co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Medal of Freedom for his role in negotiating the release of 52 American hostages in Iran.

The student panel included seniors Adam Sieff, Greer Feick, Jon Lerner, Ryan Martin-Patterson, Nuriel Moghavem, Lucas Shaw, Jenna Spinks and Sammi Wyman.

The students were picked from Waterhouse’s Comparative Government class.

“We were in our class when he told us Warren was coming and asked who wanted to be on the panel,” Fieck said.

“No one said anything at first, but then I raised my hand to volunteer because it sounded so interesting and then everybody really wanted to do it. I think I’m going to do a little research and prepare my questions because I know he’s an important guy.”

“The topic is international flashpoints because he wasn’t going to know what the exact topic would be, whether it was about Israel or Iraq,” event coordinator Hillary Fogarty (Sam ’08) said. “This way the night could be centered on all the hotspots around the world.”

After the panel, Christopher answered questions from the rest of the audience. The evening was the final Parents’ Association event of the year.