Laura Blanche Jackson Memorial Lectureship Hosts Russian and Eurasian Affairs Expert

March 25, 2008

by Katie Brooks, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Dr. Andrew C. Kuchins, senior fellow and director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), will present a lecture titled, "The Future of Russia...Is Hard to Predict," from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25 in the Paul W. Powell Chapel in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary on Baylor's campus.

The 15th annual Laura Blanche Jackson Endowed Memorial Lectureship in World Affairs, hosted by Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, is free and open to the public.

"Dr. Kuchins is a renowned expert on Russian policy. Since the Russian presidential elections were just two weeks ago, this is an opportunity to talk to someone enormously knowledgeable in the area," said Dr. Elizabeth Dell, lecturer in Baylor's English department.

Dell said the lecture will benefit any student with an interest in international affairs.

"The lecture will help students to think through big policy decisions going on in the world as they listen to an expert opinion," Dell said.

The CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit public policy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that conducts research and analysis and develops policy initiatives and solutions that look into the future and anticipate change.

A "highly respected think tank," the CSIS helps make policy decisions, Dell said. "Dr. Kuchins, as the lead expert in Russian issues, has a voice in that process."

Before working at the CSIS, Dr. Kuchins was senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he was the director of its Russian and Eurasian Program in Washington, D.C., from 2000-2003 and 2006, and director of the Carnegie Moscow Center in Russia from 2003-2005.

Dr. Kuchins conducts research and writes on Russian foreign and security policy. He is working on a book with Dmitri Trenin titled China and Russia: Strategic Partners, Allies, or Competitors.

The Laura Blanche Jackson Lectureship in World Affairs was created by Laura Jackson's family and many friends in memory of her life. Jackson was involved on Baylor's campus serving as a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and Student Foundation before her graduation in 1985. After Baylor, Jackson served on numerous campaign staffs for state and local political candidates. Later she became the director of marketing for the World Affairs Council of San Antonio.

Following her death in 1992, Jackson's family and friends created the lectureship dedicated to asking the questions and seeking the answers that she was committed to asking and finding in her life.

"The purpose of the lectureship is to get students to think about global issues by having contact with people who actually affect policy decisions," Dell said.

For more information about the lectureship, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Dell at

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