US National Security Advisor Susan Rice to Speak At SHU

Photo courtesy of the Seton Hall website.

Photo courtesy of the Seton Hall website.

Ambassador Susan Rice will be visiting Seton Hall’s campus on Thursday, April 30, as a part of an event hosted by the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, along with The Donald M. Payne, Sr. Global Foundation.

Rice was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations before becoming the U.S. National Security Advisor, the position she serves today. The idea for the event came about when the Donald M. Payne Global Foundation approached the School of Diplomacy about co-hosting the lecture.

The late Donald M. Payne, a Seton Hall alumnus and New Jersey Congressman, was a mentor to Susan Rice when she was first making her name as a diplomat. Rice is visiting to honor her mentor, who passed away three years ago from colon cancer.

Elizabeth Halpin, Associate Dean for External Affairs for the School of Diplomacy, said that Rice speaking here is a rare opportunity for diplomacy students and for the entire campus.

“The unique opportunity to hear directly from a standing top U.S. official adds to the diverse opinions and perspectives that we encourage our students to examine as part of their educational experience at a leading academic institution,” said Halpin.

The School of Diplomacy has hosted many world leaders before, including United Nations Security General Ban Ki Moon and former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair. However, they have not had the opportunity to host someone with a resume quite like Rice’s in recent years. Halpin said that Rice is expected to speak about her mentor and what he meant to her as well as some of his endeavors on a worldwide scale.

“We expect that she will remember the late Congressman and his passion for international affairs,” said Halpin. “We expect that she will address the current state of some of the late Congressman’s global passions as well as her vision for the future of these affairs.”

Blake Willis, a senior, Diplomacy major, said that he’s known of Susan Rice as well as Donald Payne for quite some time and is excited for the opportunity to hear the ambassador speak.

“I’m not from New Jersey but I’ve known about Donald Payne as a congressman and can only imagine those he’s mentored became great diplomats, like Susan Rice,” said Willis. “It’s great that we have the opportunity to hear her speak at SHU.”

Chris Amnott, a senior, said that he had not heard of Rice before this event, but he is happy the school was able to make something like this happen.

“Someone with her experience can probably offer any one of us some great advice,” said Amnott. “Anytime you can get a U.S. official on campus to speak to us students, about anything really, is awesome.”

The event will begin at 1 p.m. in the Jubilee Auditorium.

Eric Hostettler can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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