Biddle Lecture Speaker Archives

The Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle, Jr. Lecture in International Studies was launched at Duke University in November 1992, with The Honorable Vernon Anthony Walters as the first invited speaker. This series was established by Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans and Dr. James H. Semans and their family to honor Mrs. Semans’ father, who had a distinguished career as a diplomat in the service of the United States and was an original signer of The Duke Endowment.

The lecture symbolizes Duke University’s continuing commitment to promoting international understanding.

November 1992
The Honorable Vernon Anthony Walters

March 1995
The Honorable William H. Luers

April 1997
The Honorable Jack F. Matlock, Jr.

November 1998
The Honorable Robert L. Gallucci

October 2000
The Honorable Philip Lader

February 2001
The Honorable James A. Joseph (former US Ambassador to South Africa)
“Ethics and Diplomacy: What I Learned from Nelson Mandela”

April 2003
The Honorable John O’Leary (former US Ambassador to Chile)
“From Old Politics to New Diplomacy: Lesson from Chile on Free Trade in the 21st Century”

November 2004
The Honorable David C. Litt (former US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates)
“Challenges for Diplomacy in the Age of Terrorism: A Personal View”

November 2006
Diana Villiers Negroponte (US Institute of Peace)
“Behind the Foreign Policy Push for Liberal Democracy in the Middle East”

October 2009
Damon Wilson (Duke, BA ’95), Mark Lorey (Duke, BA ’95), & Sonya Wu-Winter (Duke, BA ’95)
“Pathways of International Service – Experiences and Reflections from Three Duke Alums”

April 2013
The Honorable Donna Hrinak (President, Boeing Brazil; former US Ambassador to Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic)
“Latin America: More Than Just an Asterisk?”

April 2016
The Honorable William J. Burns (President, Carnegie Endowment for Peace; former US Ambassador to Russia & Jordan)
“American Leadership in a Changing International Landscape”

March 2018
The Honorable Brian A. Nichols (former US Ambassador to Peru)
"For Reasons Which Are Not Immediately Clear: Foreign Policy in a Time of Uncertainty"

April 2021
The Honorable Nicholas Burns (former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and Greece and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, 2005-2008)
" A Time for Diplomacy"

April 2022
Lise Grande (President and CEO of the United States Institute of Peace)
"Protecting Civilians in the Age of Instability"

This program is made possible by the Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Lectureship Endowment and by the Mary Trent Jones-Sarah Trent Harris-Rebecca Trent Kirkland Endowment, recognizing Dr. and Mrs. Semans’ daughters who received their education at Duke University.