Kofi Annan, the former secretary-general of the United Nations and joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, will discuss the lessons he learned during his decade at the center of the world stage at the second annual Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership, hosted by the UCLA College of Letters and Science.
The event, to be held on Thursday, May 30, at 5 p.m. in UCLA's Royce Hall, will be moderated by UCLA Alumna and "E! Investigates" host Laura Ling, who in 2009 was held captive by the North Korean government for 140 days. The event is open to the public.
A limited number of free tickets are available to UCLA students, and discounted tickets are available for premium and general seating until May 1. Visit the Luskin Lecture website to purchase a ticket. Following his lecture, Annan will answer questions previously submitted to the College.
Established in 2011 by longtime UCLA supporters Meyer and Renee Luskin, the lecture series enables the College to bring iconic thought leaders to campus to stimulate dialogue among scholars, leaders and the Los Angeles community on pressing national and global issues. In May 2012, former President Bill Clinton delivered the inaugural Luskin Lecture to an audience of more than 1,800 at a sold-out event in Royce Hall.
Considered one of the most effective leaders in the U.N.'s history, Annan served two terms as secretary-general from 1997 to 2006. One of his main priorities was a comprehensive program of reform aimed at revitalizing the U.N. and making the international organization more effective. Today, he chairs a foundation that promotes peace and sustainable development worldwide.
"Kofi Annan's pursuit of peace, human rights and improved living conditions, both at the U.N. and through his foundation, are shining examples of the ideals we embrace at UCLA," Chancellor Gene Block said. "It's an honor to welcome him to campus and an enviable opportunity for students and the rest of greater Los Angeles to hear from one of this generation's most respected leaders."
At the U.N., Annan was an advocate for human rights, the rule of law, the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals and development in Africa. He sought to bring the U.N. closer to the global public by forging ties between civil society and the private sector, among other partners. In 2001, Annan and the U.N. were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; the citation praised his leadership for "bringing new life to the organization."
Since leaving the U.N., Annan has continued to press for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people, particularly in Africa, through his work with the Kofi Annan Foundation and other organizations. He continues to use his experience to mediate and resolve conflicts, most recently serving as the joint United Nations–Arab League special envoy to Syria.
"This is an extraordinary opportunity for our campus community and members of the public to benefit, in person, from the wisdom and experience of a truly visionary leader," said Joseph Rudnick, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences and senior dean of the College of Letters and Science. "Kofi Annan has transformed the global landscape as a champion of justice and equality."
Details for the media will be announced closer to the event date.
The UCLA College of Letters and Science is home to more than 85 percent of the university's 28,000 undergraduate students. Together, its four academic divisions — Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences — encompass 34 departments, 109 undergraduate majors, more than 50 graduate degree programs and over 40 Ph.D. programs that span research and teaching across both traditional and emerging disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences. A fifth division, Undergraduate Education, serves as the campus driver of excellence and innovation in the undergraduate experience. Taught by world-renowned faculty, the College's undergraduate and graduate students move on to become business, government, community, and academic leaders of California and the world.