Former British Diplomat Will Speak on “The Cold War: The Penalties of Victory” at Laura B. Jackson Lectureship in World Issues

George Walden
George Walden, a British journalist and former diplomat, will present the Laura B. Jackson Lectureship in World Issues Oct. 5 at Baylor University. (Courtesy photo)
Oct. 2, 2017

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 2, 2017) — George Walden, a British journalist and former diplomat who also served as Minister for Higher Education under Margaret Thatcher from 1985-1987, will present this year’s Laura B. Jackson Lectureship in World Issues at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, in the Foyer of Meditation at at Baylor University's Armstrong Browning Library. A reception will follow in Cox Reception Hall.

Walden’s career has been that of a diplomat, politician, journalist and author. As a diplomat, he specialized in Russia and China during the Cold War, and was Principal Private Secretary to Lord Carrington as well as Margaret Thatcher's Secretary of State. As a Conservative politician he was Minister for Higher Education. As a journalist and author, he has written for the London Times, chaired the British and Russian Booker Prize for fiction and authored a number of books on subjects ranging from politics to dandyism and recently, thrillers.

“George Walden was selected to speak because of his unique position as a former member of Parliament and because of his lifetime of writing and thinking about the complexities of the world situation and of how we, as citizens, should be better informed and educated in general,” said David A. Smith, Ph.D., senior lecturer in American history in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Walden’s presentation - “The Cold War: The Penalties of Victory” - will examine the effects of the Cold War on various countries.

“This would discuss the paradox whereby the United States and the West emerged victorious, only to see U.S. leadership increasingly challenged, Europe fractured (Brexit), NATO uncertain and relations between Europe and the U.S. increasingly strained,” Walden said.

The annual endowed Laura B. Jackson Lectureship in World Issues was created by Dr. Frank and Mrs. Darba Jackson in memory of their daughter, Laura, who graduated from Baylor in 1985 before passing away from cancer in 1992. Following her graduation, Laura Jackson combined her sense of responsible citizenship with her vocation – serving on campaign staffs for state and local political candidates. She became director of marketing for the World Affairs Council of San Antonio and also found time for many deep friendships, her church and volunteer work in a San Antonio homeless shelter.

Smith said this lecture series is designed to provide students with a larger picture of the individual issues that contribute to modern society’s affairs.

“We tend to pay attention to foreign affairs only when there’s a crisis of some sort brewing, and in part this lecture serves to provide people with ongoing context and background so that when a crisis does come, we know more about the particulars behind it,” Smith said.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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