UPDATE: Up to the minute - "The Yemen Crisis: Some Ground Truths," now Jan. 13
Ambassador Barbara Bodine, former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen and Diplomat-in-Residence at the Woodrow Wilson School, and Gregory Johnsen, a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern studies at Princeton University and a former Fulbright fellow in Yemen, will present a public talk titled, "The Yemen Crisis: Some Ground Truths" at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, on the Princeton University campus.
Since the failed Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253 and the discovery of a Yemen – al-Qaida connection, the situation in Yemen has produced instant experts and punditry opportunities for those whose knowledge of the country and its inner workings is lacking. Ambassador Bodine, who has dealt with Yemen for nearly 4 decades, and Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen will impart the facts about this complex country, the current conditions, and U.S.-Yemen relations.
Ambassador Bodine's years in the U.S. Foreign Service were spent primarily on Arabian Peninsula and great Persian Gulf issues, specifically U.S. bilateral and regional policy, strategic security issues, counterterrorism, and governance and reform. Her tour as Ambassador to the Republic of Yemen from 1997 to 2001 saw enhanced support for democratization and increased security and counterterrorism cooperation, the establishment of a coast guard, resumption of Fulbright scholarships for Yemeni students, initiation of a $40 million/year economic assistance and development program, and an indigenous landmine awareness and demining program. Bodine also served in Baghdad as Deputy Principal Officer during the Iran-Iraq War, Kuwait as Deputy Chief of Mission during to Iraqi invasion and occupation of 1990-1991, and again, seconded to the Department of Defense, in Iraq in 2003 as the senior State Department official and the first coalition coordinator for reconstruction in Baghdad and the Central governorates.
In addition to several assignments in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, she was Associate Coordinator for Counterterrorism Operations and subsequently acting overall Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Director of East African Affairs, Dean of the School of Professional Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, and Senior Advisor for International Security Negotiations and Agreements in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog.
Johnsen has held multiple fellowships from the American Institute for Yemeni Studies and was awarded the David R. Schweisberg Memorial Scholarship from the Overseas Press Club in 2006. Johnsen has also advised and consulted for a variety of different organizations on issues relating to Yemen. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen. He has appeared on CNN the Charlie Rose Show, PBS' News Hour, the BBC, NPR, al-Jazeera English and al-Hurra discussing Yemen and is often quoted in media outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post and others. In 2001 and 2002 he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan.
This event is co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Department of Near Eastern Studies. It is free and open to the public.